“Hey, it’s me.”
“Nishanth,” I said, completely aware of the fact that she was pretending not to recognize my voice.
Your voice is the essence of my day, she had once told me while showing her disappointment for not returning her calls for almost the whole day.
It won’t happen again. I had to convince her with my best-pleasing-apology. It as well cost me two large ice creams the next day.
“Sorry, but which one, the one in College or the one in School?”
“The ex-colleague one.” I said plainly. As a matter of fact, she neither had a Nishanth in College nor in School.
“Oh, the ex. I’m sorry. I couldn’t recollect your voice.” Her voice stuttered clearly.
“Yeah, the ex.” I got caught up in her play with words. Wow, she is still good at it, I thought.
No words from her after. Was she plotting her next act? I didn’t want to give her a chance to act smart again.
“Well, how have you been?”
“Do you even care?”
“Of course, I do. You know that too.”
“Listen, sorry about the unanswered calls. Okay?”
“Forget it. It’s not something that’s new to me anyway.”
Sarcasm, it is. The one she is also good at. The one which comes naturally (in a good way, though) to her.
“Will you even let me say what I wanted to?” I said, totally annoyed with her words. Yep, I did even though I didn’t have any right to do so.
“Sorry,” she gave in finally. Lucky me.
“So, how have you been?”
“Not so great. Thanks to you.”
“It still is about me, no?”
“It always will be.”
“It, precisely, is the reason I didn’t return any of your calls.”
“I know, idiot.”
Idiot, that was how she called me mostly. That was the signal that she got back to a normal mood. It was time to say what I wanted to.
“Look, I just wanted to say, I love you.”
She remained silent.
“I’m sorry. I know it’s inappropriate, but I couldn’t help it. I have been thinking of the past, of how I could have acted differently, of how things would be now had I made a better decision, and these thoughts kill me inside.”
“Hey, I know you. You did what you had to, what I would probably have done. Don’t stress yourself over it. Our bad luck, my bad luck, it was. What else could I say?” She almost cried.
I didn’t know what else to say either.
“And just so you know. I love you too. I always did, more than anything in this world. I always will.”
“I…” just when I started, I heard her husband’s voice in the background. He was calling out to her.
“Alright. Gotta go. Please feel better. I’ll call you tomorrow,” she said and disconnected the call instantly. Maybe, he came near. I will never know. If only she knew her call the next day might as well go unanswered.