This short story is participating in Write Story from Picture India 2012 – Short Story Writing Competition.
It all started 8 months back. I met him on the internet chatting room. I was bored out of my mind one day and while I was browsing thru different chat rooms I got a friend request from “justme2012” so I added him. We chatted often, mostly general questions like what I did or where he was going to for the weekend. He was in Madras and I was in Mumbai. I usually never trust these chat room guys, as they are always fake and pretend to be someone who they are not. So just to keep it going I too pretended to be someone else.
I told him that I was working in the film industry in Mumbai and how hectic my life was with assisting the directors etc. when I had the most boring job on earth being the front desk receptionist. I hated my job. I had to always smile even if I did not feel like and attend to all the phone calls and direct them to the right person. I got this job because I had to support my family.
We started chatting frequently and I was sure he was jobless even though he claimed that he was into textile business. Maybe he had the same idea about me too! But I didn’t care as this was my distraction from my painful reality. We shared our likes and dislikes and our passions and slowly we started revealing about our families and I felt so connected with him at times because he always knew to tell the right thing.
Here I was getting addicted to a person who I was not sure was a male first of all and didn’t know how much of what he was telling me was true. But every day I looked forward to chatting with him and teasing him and revealing a little bit of my real self.
One day he did not come to the chat at all. I felt lost and waited anxiously and then nearly a week passed and he never showed up. I kept pinging him and asking him if he was okay. I was even tempted to give my phone no so that I could hear his voice. But… my practical mind always wins over my heart.
Finally when I was about to give up my messenger blinged.
“Hi. It’s me.”
“Hi. Where have u been? I’ve missed you.” I blurted out.
“Tell me one thing how much of your story is true.”
“If you want us to continue I want to know the truth. The real you.”
“Just shut up and answer me or I’m leaving. Bye.”
“Hey hey wait. You ask me, I will tell if it’s true/false.”
“You are a girl right?”
“Live in Mumbai”
“Working in the film industry with famous people”
“False. I work as a receptionist in a dingy firm. :(”
“hmmm…. Very interesting”
“What about all the other things you have told me? About family, your college and your first love etc”
“Then I want to see you. I don’t care how you look. It will not make a difference to me. I think I have found a best friend in you.”
“Hey, what about you???”
“I promise that whatever I have told you is 100% true.”
“Send me a picture of you ASAP and I will do the same.”
Finally I decided I’m going to do it. Yes I am going to send my picture to him and wait for his response whatever it might be.