It’s my birthday and still working. Few of my friends called and few left texts. And am happy that at least they remember my birthday…but sad that the one whom I expected to call didn’t even leave a text. I have been waiting every year since that night for that someone to text but… hmmm…Did she forget? This time I really hope she texts me by tomorrow at the least.
Sigh…I completed my work and as I sit here staring at the windows showcasing the outside light city, a number of thoughts, memories flood my mind.
Smiling, I sip my coffee. Coffee!!Umm…That reminds me so much about her. The first coffee I had with her. I can still picture her at the café shop. Elegant was the best word that described her. Smiling as she entered…
Shaking my head as if to forget that memory off my mind I silently sipped my coffee in silence except for the song on the pc…
I sat up as my mobile suddenly went off. She had texted. My heart swelled with happiness as I fumbled through the keys to open it. It read:
Happy birthday dear!! J Have a gr8 year ahead and you‘re becoming an oldie… :P
P.S: Sorry I slept off waiting for the clock to strike 12!
My heart did all sorts of somersaults. Finally, she texted. I replied,
Thanks sweetheart! :)
:)So… What plans for the d-day?
nothing much. Working…
U must be kidding!!! Dude… Its ur b’day!
Dude… dude??? Strange… Because she rarely I mean she never uses it as far as I knew her or rather, I used to know her. And ‘dude’ that really made me feel like a stranger and did I really feel something tighten in my chest? God!! That girl still controls my heart!
The realization hit me in the gut. I ruffled thru my hair, smiling I turned my attention back to the phone.
I have three texts from her asking me to reply. She still hasn’t changed a bit. The same questions “what happened?””what’s wrong?”,”slept off?:/” filled the texts.
Hmmm…ok!! So…what did you get??
Nothing till now!!
Really? Sad!!I will give you… and am the first one to get you a present today!:):) You owe me a BIG choci:):)
She still sounded all cute and innocent when she says choci for chocolate…smiling I reply her.
So what do you want??
I must be crazy!!What on earth! Why did I even send her that?? CRAP! I swore under my breath waited for to text. Tensed, excited at the same time.
She didn’t reply even after 15min. I waited and waited…Striding along my cabinet… My phone blinked and I grabbed to check it.
I think you sent me the wrong text!! Sorry…had some work.
She is a bad liar. What work would anyone have in the middle of the night?? Really pis*ed off!!
How could she even think that that it was for someone else?!
I swore loudly and I heard the echo of my own voice. I don’t know what to reply her. I raced thru my brains to find a proper explanation to reply and still I couldn’t find one.
The phone blinked again. It was a text from her.
It’s been years, well exactly two that I have texted u. nice talking to you!
She forgot to tell me the exact calculated days!! I was rude but she could have texted me na. She didn’t. Whatever!! But I wonder how many times she has deleted my number…Whether it has been easy for her to do without texting me.
Yeah! Thanks for remembering my birthday and nice talking to you too!:)
Being formal wasn’t my idea but it’s as if I have no choice left. Sigh…Damn it! Why did all bad things happen with me?
I know I ended the conversation and she too did the same I wanted to ask her why she didn’t wish me the year before or the before. Hasn’t she remembered then? Did she do it by purpose? I want the answers to those questions and many others.
I flipped thru the pages of my documents but not in the mood I shut them with a snap. I logged into FB and surfed through games. I don’t know what I clicked because the next second her image was taking my whole screen. Breathless! I gaped at her photo. She was and is beautiful. I noticed she has lost weight, more piercings. Long hair like she wanted them. She just looked out of the world beautiful.
Jealousy crept into me as I took in the handsome guy standing next to her. His hand passionately held her waist and her hands on his chest. Both of them were smiling, looking into each other’s eyes. Who is this guy? What’s she doing with her? How did she put this photo in FB? That guy is getting under my skin!! It was more than enough to piss me off.
I shut the pc and walked towards the windows. I poured myself a hot cup of coffee and sat on the lounge area.
Staring into the breaking dawn, I went back to those cherished memories of me and Aradhana.
Just you… And me.
We have known each other from our school days but there was nothing to be called between us. There wasn’t any relation that I can categorize whatever we shared.
I knew she existed in some part of our school. And suddenly out of the blue, the cupid struck me.
I don’t know when, how…It suddenly happened.
Intermediate collage was the time then. Two very different colleges. We hardly met but texted always, 24*7!! I used to call her all those times. I don’t remember who asked for the number or who texted first. The first thing I said to her after I proposed her was that I would never be able to marry her. Thinking about it now, I really feel like a jacka**! Such an idiot Am. Damn me!!
She loved me more than anyone else. I don’t need anything to prove it. She just did. I know it.
The only girl I ever loved in my life and the only girl who took all the hurt and still loved me or used to. She was this (suffering in) silence type of girl. I don’t know. Did I ever feel sad or sorry for her? Did I ever think once what would happen to her? I guess I never did. I simply said all that to her face!! Convincing her it was for her good when it did no good.
Ruffling through my hair, thinking about that day… I still remember it was right after my brother’s wedding. I broke up with her. We had this weird conversation the day before the wedding and I realized or thought break was what she wanted.
The next day I texted her that it was better if we end it. She accepted it without saying a word. I used to wonder why she didn’t ask me questions and sometimes I still do!!!
And from that day four or three years of relationship came to an end. Later I went to work, she completed her studies, did her pg and working?? I don’t know.
For few months, she texted, we were formal. I needed her to talk, to be with me. I know am selfish but all I needed was someone and that someone to be her. Later I got busy with work and I guess she too got busy. I don’t know and I never asked. We stopped talking. I didn’t text her and she didn’t too didn’t. Guess she was waiting for me to text her just once but never did. I just believed she would not stop talking no matter what…guess I was wrong.
I saw the breaking dawn. The sky broke into shades of purple, orange, red. I walked towards my car. As I got in, I stared at the seat next to me where she once sat and again I had hurt her.
I remember so vividly her face, the smile suddenly vanishing and the distance she suddenly created between us.
I drove my way out to home. “Home” feels strange because there is no one except me at my place. Barren walls, couch n laptop awaits me every day. No one to hug me, bother me about my work, day. She had done everything yet I left her behind. Simply because, I couldn’t stand up for her before my parents, just no one.
Is she hurt, Angry? I never asked nor did I find out. Sigh!!
As I drove along my way I was reminded about the first kiss we shared.
The first kiss!! How can I ever forget that?! She looked beautiful that night. Her eyes wide, staring at me with astonishment. I saw love, trust in her eyes. Love for me!! That really knocked me flat. I never understood till that day what it was to be loved.
Sigh!! How I wish she was here!! I decided to text her, meet her.
She accepted the offer for dinner this weekend. As the weekend neared so did my excitement
I wore her favorite combo- blue and white. Checking my reflection, Dark brown eyes stared at me. The usual dull eyes were all lit up with excitement, happiness. Her favorite cologne.
I reached the restaurant and tada!! She was already waiting for me. Happiness jolted through me. I walked towards her smiling. She gave me a recognized nod and her eyes grew wild as she eyed me from head to toe. Well after all she was the one who wanted me to the perfect M&B guy.
“Hello!!” She said extending her arm. I gaped at her openly. She was beautiful. She was wearing a sari. I have never seen her in it. Elegant!! She looked some goddess from Venus,
She was staring at me. I realized my mouth was still open and her arm still extended. I took her arm and said hello with a bright smile.
Me: so what are you doing these days??
She: am working!! :)
Me: I know you’re working sweetheart. ‘Where’ is my question.
Her mouth turned into a perfect ‘o’ before she replied.
“You still haven’t stopped calling every girl sweetheart? And I work in a boutique.’’ She beamed. She stared down smiling as if I wasn’t there or did she still feel shy to look at me and talk?
“Look at me and talk!!”
She looked but the next second her face turned like a red tomato. She was blushing like always. She looked down, smiling shaking her head.
I ordered coffee for both of us and waited for her to talk. The silence hung between us like for eons and the air seemed charged. She finally broke it.
“Thank god you talked.” I told her with a smile.
She smiled and continued sipping her coffee. She had a cream moustache. Damn!! She looked so cute. So kissable.
We finally came out from the restaurant. She sat in the car with me.
We reached near the shore. I always wanted to walk with her in this cold weather along the shore. Maybe I wouldn’t get a chance like this later so I asked her.
“Wanna go for a walk?”
“Why not?” :)
The place looked beautiful like always but today the grandeur of the place increased with her presence. I started noticing things I have never noticed. She looked like an angel walking the earth with her aura enveloping everything around me.
I wanted to ask her who that guy was. I tried to ignore the nagging feeling, but couldn’t.
“So… Who’s the guy?”
“What?? Who? Which guy?”
“The guy in your FB profile pic.”
“I asked you a question misthi.” I told her softly.
She glared at me. “Don’t ever call me that! And it’s none of your business who ever the guy is!”
Her pace slowed down. I walked and reached her and slipped my hand into hers. She shook it off. “Don’t” she shouted. “Don’t you dare do it again, Rishi”
“Why? Damn it Rishi! You broke up with me. You walked out without even asking me or even hearing me out”
“Please! Don’t start again Aradhana!”
Crap!! I saw her wince at my words. She started to say something, then stopped midway and walked away. I know I said all the wrong things at the perfect time. I ran behind her calling her name.
“Aradhana! Am sorry!”
“Don’t be! I…Never mind…”
She always did that; starting to tell me something and curb it with a ‘never mind’. It really annoys me every time. It wasn’t the time to be annoyed or to show my annoyance. So to calm her down I simply changed the topic.
“Care for a drink?”
“I definitively need one.”
Again she surprised me!!
We entered a restaurant ordered drinks; it seemed to me as if she knew the place and the people there. A bartender waved at her giving a (recognizing) seducing smile. She smiled back innocently (without knowing his intentions) but it didn’t reach her eyes. Jealousy hit me so hard that I felt like breaking his neck for eyeing my girl. I glared at him till he took his eyes off her.
In a few minutes we got our drinks. She got her wine and I really wanted something strong but with her near I can’t so I went for my champagne. She sipped her wine silently, twirling her glass between her slender fingers making the entire liquid swirl. Every time it happened she smiled. A child’s smile.
How did I ever think of losing this baby?!Why did I act like an a**?
“I wanna try that.” Her voice broke the silence and my thoughts. “Try what?”
“That” she was pointing at my flute of champagne. I didn’t know what to tell her and I didn’t want to make her all the more angry by denying. So I agreed but I was fighting a battle inside my head.
She just took one sip. She gave a tiny smile as if she liked it and the next sec she drowned the whole glass. That’s all!! My nightmare came true. She got high! She was smiling so beautifully b the next second I knew big hot tears were flowing down her cheeks. She was talking in husky hushed voice. I really had to strain my ears to listen to her.
“Why did you come now? You left without a word that night! Why now? I was becoming normal once again and you turned up just to stir all those forgotten emotions. I only wanted to wish you because…I… I just wanted to.” she let me hold her. We walked towards the gazebo. She sat on the bench taking deep breaths.
“am sorry!” “it’s okay.” I smiled at her. “Go on dear. You can tell me!”
She looked at me all red eyed and still looked cute and vulnerable at the same time.
“The guy in that photo is my brother-in-law. It was during Naina’s engagement. You do remember Naina, don’t you?” I nodded my head.
She continued “we were just trying to make her jealous. I love him. He is sweet and treats me like his baby SIL. He knows everything that happened between us. I feel comfortable with him.”
“oh” that dreamy smile still hung in her lips as if she was watching the scene go in her head.
“Okay! And I…umm…”
“Yeah?” she looked at me and I forgot what I was going to tell her!
“You were and you still are a coward, Rishi! You never had the guts to tell me you loved, asked me to stay! You never had the confidence I had nor did you try to assure when I needed the most. If you had, I would have fought the world to stay with you! But now it’s too late so you can keep whatever you were trying to say with yourself!!”
It was her silent raging words that shook me. But she was right. I had been one. I never assured her when she needed one. I didn’t know what to answer or tell her to that. Apologizing will make it worse, I knew that but I had to tell her something!
“It’s never too late for anything, Aradhana”
“I wanna go home.”
I dropped her at her place. She didn’t even turn back to look at me; her hands were clenched into fists on her sides. I knew she was fighting back tears. Before even I reached home I had the plan, the scene running in my mind.
“I will get you back, Aradhana. It’s a promise!”
As I read through the pages I can’t wait to write what happened after that night.
That night as I watched her walk proudly stifling back her tears I realized no matter what happens am not going to miss this girl once again in my life. I dialed her sister’s number.
“Yeah… Who is this?”
“What do you want?”
She was angry like I thought can’t blame her anyways.
“Look I am sorry! Well no matter how much I apologize you are going to be angry with me but still am sorry, Naina. I really am! I want to change it.”
“Hmmm…you are an a**!!”
I smiled to myself because it reminded me so much about Aradhana.
“So what is it?”
“What happened to Aradhana after I left?”
“you really want to know?”
“Yeah… You’re scaring me, Naina.”
“Imagine me watching her every single day, how much scared we all were.”
“She was as if she lost it. She hardly cried. She was kind of silent, too silent. And this silence was like cold, distant. She smiled but it hardly reached her eyes. Always thinking, ever alone. She cried in her sleep. She changed a lot. Temper! God!!That girl’s temper! I don’t know what more has happened. Maybe my fiancée would know. They get on well and she trusts him more.”
“Congrats on your wedding… And I really didn’t know about…sigh…but am gonna change all of it. Trust me, I will. Give me a chance.”
“hmmm…okay. And how are you going to change?”
“Wait and watch” I smiled. I knew.
The next day I went up to her place talked with everyone from her family, apologized to her and promised her everything.
“Give me a chance. Let me show you how much I love you. Trust me!!”
She smiled and I knew I have won her heart again.
I convinced my parents and after lot of struggle they accepted. We started all over again. It was the beginning of our love story once again.
One year!! Time flies so fast…And today I am getting married to My love!
Smiling and beaming in her wedding attire. I just can’t take my eyes off her. It’s as if my heart is rapidly filling and brimming with love.
The story begins right here. It’s my wedding and I can’t wait to get beside her. Adieu!! :)
JUST YOU AND ME, ARADHANA
Sometimes it’s never too late!!