This short story is participating in Write Story from Picture India 2012 – Short Story Writing Competition.
It was not just another day for Diya. The day was very hectic on professional and personal front. The clock showed 7:00 PM and still half of her days work was pending. Early in the morning her appraisal was communicated to her and which was the reason for her disturbed state of mind. She was very tired, not by the work but the thoughts that kept creeping in her mind…
“Why am I working so hard? Why do I stay so late in office? I’m spoiling my personal life too. Every day I reach home late and then I have to go through the same set of questions from Sahil. Though he is very understanding still I should not try his patience. He is no where going wrong, is it me who is not able to bring the work life balance? And after so many compromises and sacrifice, so much of devotion to work what did I get? Is this what is called satisfaction? What is appraisal, promotion, hike… all these words sound so alien to me was it worth going through this?”
Her mind was shattered, as if each piece of it had a different question to be answered and all crowded at a time making her restless, not knowing what to do. Her whole day went finding answers to her questions. She needed a break. She wanted to relax her mind a bit, get out of those questions. She browsed through her messenger everyone’s status was away or offline. All have left she thought to herself and returned to her work, but she could not concentrate on her work. She took her coffee mug and dragged herself for a coffee; no one to accompany her. Lost in her thoughts she took the coffee and returned back to her desk. She wanted to talk to someone, wanted to share her feelings but there was no one.
She stared blankly at the monitor, not knowing if she could finish the work staying back in such a state of mind, not knowing if she should leave. A pop up popped up on her screen which said, Alisha Bakshi is available, her joy knew no bounds, her heart started beating again. She clicked on the pop up was about to ping her when her brain stopped her, a voice inside her said, “Do you think she wants to talk to you?”
The voice put her in dilemma she was taken aback, As if she was watching a movie all old memories flashed in front of her eyes.
Alishaa, Alishaa plz listen to me… give me one chance to explain… pleaded Diya.
I don’t need any explanation from you. I had not expected that… of the entire world you will do this to me. Just leave me alone… sobbing Alisha walked away leaving Diya in a strange plight. Diya stood there steady and a drop of tear rolled down to her cheek from her eye, wiping it she ran in the opposite direction.
Diya’s mobile started ringing, it was Sahil. She answered the call and told him she will be home in next 2 hrs. Coming back to her desk she looked at the messenger window and thought to herself, Alisha will not talk to me… no… Never… I have hurt her; I don’t want to bring back those painful memories. It will be troublesome to her as well as me. But I know it’s only she who can bring me out my unstable state. I wonder what she is doing now. She might be busy I might disturb her. Should I ping her at least she will know I want to talk to her? She was more confused now. She should or not? will she reply or not…
Alisha and Divya were two souls one heart they knew each other from the time when they didn’t even know what innocence was and how it gets adulterated. From the first day at school they had shared everything with each other. They knew each other so well. Destiny was in their favor, they both got admission in the same institution after their school. They had their own world. It’s true some relations cannot be explained, cannot be named. The bond they shared was one such relation. Everyone was jealous about them for they did not have such close, nice friend for themselves; this only increased the bond of affection between the two. They successfully completed their education and started their careers with a reputed organization and they stayed together in a hostel.
It was a Saturday and they had planned for a movie in evening. Alisha was very excited as she was a movie addict. Though Diya did not like much of it she agreed for it for Alisha. Diya had to go to office for some urgent issues in her project. She had promised Alisha she would meet her at the multiplex at 5. Alisha was ok with it. Alisha got ready and went to the multiplex she was so excited to watch the movie that she was there at 4:30 itself. She desperately waited for Diya. The show was for 6. She went inside and started doing some window shopping… Time seemed to be moving slowly… Finally it was 5. She looked at the watch every 2 min, Once at the watch once at the door. There was no sign of Diya. As time ticked Alisha got restless. At 5:30 she tried Diya’s cell it was out of reach… that provided her a ray of hope… it means she is on her way. She has left the company… she convinced herself. It was 6, the show started, Alisha stared continuously at the door… she was ready for the run, She had made up her mind, she only wanted Diya to make it, But Diya did not show up. She tried her cell 2-3 times, It was engage. Alisha was very upset and at 7 she started back for home. She had a mix of feelings.. she was tensed as well as angry as Diya did not pick the call… When she reached hostel all her friends started questioning her how come she was back so early and why Diya was back without her. Did they fight and all… what was the matter? Diya is back to hostel… Alisha thought and her anger roused as she approached her room, She was about to open the door when she overheard Diya speaking with her parents. As Alisha entered the room she bombarded Diya with questions…
Where were you Diya… I waited for you for almost 2 hrs at the multiplex. Because of you I missed the movie. You know how big fan I’m of faruk, you know after so many days we had planned for a movie and since last week I was looking fwd for this movie.. why did you do this to me?? Why didn’t you come? I had booked these tickets from last 1 week. You knew how much I had waited for this day, didn’t you? Why? Tell me?
Ohh no no.. how can I forget?? ohh damn.. … I was just wondering where you have gone… I just forgot about that damn movie… I came back to hostel from company. I’m so sorry… why didn’t you call me?? I don’t know how this skipped from my mind. I was very busy in the office today… I’m so sorry…
You forgot…. Forgot… this is what you have to say??? How can you forget this?? We talked about it today morning itself… this is not done… how can you be so irresponsible? I called you so many times… look at your cell whole time it was out of reach or engaged…With whom were you talking for so long? And why didn’t you call me back?
I said I’m sorry… I had a very hectic day at office today and even dad had called me now, I was worried and I completely forgot about the movie plan. I’m going back home.
You have planned a trip to home and you didn’t even tell me?? Why?
My Parents have called me and maybe I won’t return back.
Everything ok… all of a sudden?? What’s wrong?
I have to leave; I cannot explain you and I don’t want to lie to you. Just understand that I have to leave.
Alisha was confused… she gave Diya strange looks full of questions.
Actually… Even I don’t know what’s going on in my life!! All of a sudden I’m getting engaged and in next few days I’m getting married. I know this will sound strange to you. He is from Bangalore so I will be moving to Bangalore.
Getting engaged?? What are you talking about… You never told me anything about this…all of a sudden, and you didn’t even feel the need to tell me? You are leaving me alone here and even now… I came to know because I overheard your conversation. If I would have not I think you would have dropped me a mail saying I’m not returning huh??Easy simple na… What’s the need of informing me right… You don’t care…
Alisha please… relax… u are overreacting… I did not get time even to think about anything… my family…
Alisha was burning into fumes…
Just don’t say anything, you have broken my faith, I tell you every small thing in my life and you are getting engaged, getting married next week… next week… and… I come to know it like this… You forget plans with me… plans that are planned from a week? I waited there for you like a fool and here you don’t even have a convincing excuse… U forgot… huh??? This is too much… I just can’t take this saying this Alisha closed her room’s door with a bang.
The thud of the bang brought back Diya to her senses…
Will she listen to me? Will she talk to me? It has been a year since we talked. All such questions creped in her mind… a little voice inside said… “But she is your best friend… you need to talk to her she might have also forgotten about all this… she might also want to talk to you… you should take an initiative after all it was your mistake, you cannot afford to lose a friend to your mistake.” To which Diya nodded. With great hopes she typed in the messenger window… Hi and waited for the reply.
1…3…5…7..10 min gone no reply… see she is still angry… she does not want to talk to me… she is still angry with me.. ? She cannot forgive such a small mistake of mine? A small thing which took such a vicious form, both of us were adamant to admit that we need each other. And now when I have taken a step to end this, she didn’t reply. Now are you satisfied? said Diya to the inner voice.
She might be busy… don’t worry she will talk to you…she equally wants to talk to you… it’s just her Ego that she is not talking.
But now what.. what about my self respect??
Shhhhhhhh…. cool down… just don’t worry… you gave it a try… now if she does not reply it is her fault… it will be she who breaks the bond. Ok… so now don’t think about this and go home, Sahil is waiting…
May be she is busy… I will wait for a few more min…
But there was no reply from the other side. Dejected Diya was about to close the window and shut down her PC, When she saw a Hi coming up in her messenger…
She…. She replied… Diya convinced herself… Diya was so happy… her heart saw transition from low to high spirits in a spike. She replied
Diya- I thought U were Busy.
Alisha-No no.. tell me.. someone else was at my desk when you pinged so took time to reply…
I know u took this time to decide whether to reply or not… I’m happy you took time but at least you replied and that too in time. I was about to leave for the day. Diya thought to herself.
Diya- How are you? What’s up?
Alisha-I’m doing well. You tell. You are still in office have lot of work?
Diya- umm yes. Had a hectic day today. You too seem to have lots of work?
Alisha-No. Currently I have no work. I was waiting for Rudra. He seems to have work.
Alisha-My husband. J Can we meet? There’s so much I want to tell you.
Diya- Yes. Sure let me know when you are planning to come to Bangalore.
Alisha-Just when you need me… I’m just besides you… Come let’s meet at CCD.
Diya- What?? You are in the city.. when did you come to Bangalore?
Alisha- Yes dear… Will answer all your questions… see you at the CCD near bus stop… you are coming right?
Diya was very happy… Her mind was full of questions… excited to know everything she missed about Alisha in this year… she had so much to tell her…She missed her so much. Her heart was dancing on the background music that played in mind “Waiting for tonight…When you would be here in my arms…”
Finally the moment came, When Diya reached CCD Alisha was already there as usual Miss Punctual waiting for her… They both greeted each other. Excitement was clearly visible on booth’s face.
I’m so glad you came.
Hmm now tell me… How did you meet Rudra… Im so eager to know everything.
Hmm You know him… you remember that tall guy in our class who always had to sit on last bench because of his height?
Ohhh yes… hmm Rudra… So… yours is a Loveee marriage?? Asked Diya rolling her eyes in surprise.
No… how can you ask this question to me…You would have known it… come on… It’s an arranged marriage but later we discovered that we studied in same school and same class and we know each other since our school time which developed interest and then it just happened. We started knowing each other and we liked each other.
So how come you in Bangalore? when did you come to banglore? When did u get married?
Hmmm… He was in Bangalore so I took transfer to Bangalore. it’s been 2 months of marriage and just 15 days in Bangalore. I haven’t yet explored the campus. His company is at walking distance from here. We come together, have lunch together and go back home together.
Wow that’s so nice… So Coooolll..
Ok.. enough of my tales now… you tell me.. what’s up in your life..
Umm me… I wanted to clear this to you since a long time… but never got a chance. Actually Dad had a massive heart attack last year because of which everyone at home was tensed and last thing my Dad wanted was to see me married and settled. He had already talked and arranged everything so I was called home urgently. After going home… I hardly knew what is going on in my life but I decided to go with the flow… I got married to Sahil; I hardly knew anything about him then but he is understanding, supportive and helpful. Then slowly work started getting hectic… I got lost in this world… nothing much…
OMG why didn’t you tell me that Uncle had heart Attack? How is he now? Alisha enquired worriedly taking Diya’s hand in hers.
He is good now… his business partner had ditched him… and he could not take that shock… he had taken a lot of tension about it… it’s ok… some things are not to be understood by us… why they happen to us… forget it… the final thing is he is ok now.. He has started his own business now. Smiled back Diya.
Alisha’s cell ringed.. it was Rudra… It was time to leave. They both promised to have lunch together next day and left feeling complete again.
“When you dial to your Friend’s Heart it’s never Out of reach… It’s Ego that kills Love”