~ Originally posted on Feb 15, 2017.
By the time I got home, I had received quite a few messages and a couple of missed calls from her. It was weird considering that she hadn’t texted me except for once in the morning since we had exchanged our mobile numbers; and that was only to acknowledge that she would be at the library at around 10 A.M. I was anxious.
When I entered the hall, I saw my friend completely engrossed in his thinking. I chose to ignore him and rushed to the terrace. I knocked the trashcan on my way upstairs.
“Hey,” shouted my friend.
“How many times have I told not to place the trashcan on the stairs, you morons?” I shouted back picking the trashcan. He didn’t seem to care.
“What are you thinking so deeply about without even noticing me entering the house? Another love-fact of yours?” I questioned him.
He smiled. I got my answer. As I reached the terrace, I found my other friend washing his clothes.
“Dude, what is with you guys? It’s scorching hot out here. Can’t you wash your clothes in the evening?” I still haven’t gotten over my questioning phase.
“Uh-huh, what are you doing here in the scorching heat, sir?”
“Just came to check on you. You carry on, please,” I replied with an intention of ending the conversation with him. He was so nice that he went back to his work without asking any further questions.
I moved to the other corner of the terrace where there was a big shade. It was much cooler there. Thanks to the large banyan tree that stood at the back of our house.
I opened the Messages folder and read all her messages one by one.
Message 1 @ 11:14 A.M: “Hi… Who is Sneha?”
Message 2 @ 11:15 A.M: “Sorry, I just asked u casually. u can choose not to reply.”
Message 3 @ 11:16 A.M: “Or u can reply!!!! J”
Message 4 @ 11:19 A.M: “Are u ther?”
Message 5 @ 11:24 A.M: “Oye!”
Message 6 @ 11:28 A.M: “I’m sorry. u don’t have to reply who she is, but at least u can text me back.”
Message 7 @ 11:34 A.M: “Oye! This is going to be my last message. I am not going to text you again until u reply. Bye.”
I then checked the call history. The calls were made @ 11:18 A.M and @ 11:33 A.M. respectively.
I reread all the messages thrice picturing the exact happenings based on the timing of the messages and the missed calls. I felt her nervousness.
I typed “Oye!” That’s how I start a conversation with someone I am very close to. Of course, practically, she wasn’t one yet, no matter I had already begun to feel that way. You know, I can’t explain how happy I was when I saw the same word in two of her messages. Same wavelength, we have, I felt.
Before I could send it, my brain acted better. I decided to call her. It took a few rings before she took my call.
“Hey!” I started.
“Hello! So you are alive only. Great to know.”
“Listen, it is not what you think it is.”
“Wait. What do you mean?” She cut me off.
“Come on. You know what I mean.”
“No, I don’t.” She tried to control her laughter. I sensed it.
“Oye! This is too much.” There I was, throwing ‘oye’ at her whenever I pleased.
“What is too much?” She wasn’t ready to give up. I was sure.
“You behaving as if I purposefully didn’t return your texts and calls.”
“Oh, no. No. Not at all. I even forgot that I texted you. And called too.”
“See, you are still doing it. That’s fine. Ring me up when you remember them. Or better still, text me. Bye.”
“Oye! Hold on.”
I remained silent. She too was.
After a few seconds, she started, “Are you there?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Why did you call me?”
“I was just returning your calls. Why did you call me before?”
“Didn’t you read my texts?”
“I did, of course. And I…” I dragged.
“And I also sensed your uneasiness when you didn’t get my reply.” I said and laughed. I didn’t know why I did then.
“What’s so funny about it?” She sounded angry. Or tried to be, I would rather say.
“Nothing. I just couldn’t believe that you thought I was ignoring your texts.”
“You would have thought the same. Wouldn’t you?”
“What probably? I am sure you would have too.” She was right. In fact, I would have been worse. I would have more likely followed up with a big apology message. I was glad she thought of me better.
“Alright. I agree.” That was the safest I could respond.
“Hmmm…” She seemed relieved.
“I was riding my bike back home from the library. Moreover, my mobile was in silent mode.”
“Silent again? You didn’t stop by any temple on the way, did you?” She asked and laughed uncontrollably. Her words and tone were dressed in sarcasm. Oh, the memory these girls have. I instantly decided not to turn my mobile silent ever again.
I waited until she stopped. I didn’t want her to stop though. She did, finally, after almost a minute. I didn’t know since when, but I kind of liked to hear her laugh. Such a bliss, you know.
Eventually, she caught my silence and said, “I’m sorry. You continue, please.”
“Nothing much. I saw your texts and calls only a few minutes back and wanted to check on you. Seven messages and two missed calls in such a short span. It must be important. Very important, no?” Sarcasm was obvious in my words. It was time to switch positions, after all.
“Hey… Don’t sound too sarcastic. It doesn’t suit your voice. Know what, I don’t bother. I shouldn’t have asked you about Sneha. I felt bad and awkward, to be honest. I didn’t want you to think that I was being, like, intrusive. I wanted to clear things up.”
“It’s okay, really. In fact, I didn’t mind you asking.”
“Alright then. Who is she, I mean, Sneha?” Needless to say, her smartness took the front seat at the right time.
… to be continued (part 10)