I take the last bite from the pizza slice. It tasted flavoured spices, makes me want more. I lick my fingers absentmindedly. I hear soft giggles. I see them staring at me. We laugh.
Chris turns on the Television. There is some horror movie playing. He decides we watch it. I stare at Adam. He nods. OK, I say half willingly. Chris smiles.
We are silent. The only sound coming is the bone-chilling screams and shrieks of the poor victims that are being haunted by that evil spirit.
The Pizza was good eh ? Chris speaks.
Umm, I agree eyes still glued at the screen. (The poor girl is running through the woods. She is all sweat and terrified. She looks frantically around her. But sees noone. Yet an unseen eyes is following her).
Chris turns towards him questioningly.
Adam is lost in his own thought. He doesn’t hear Chris’ s voice. Instead he hears a soft voice that he had last heard a long time ago.
Hello, her soft voice perfectly pitch and melodious. That was the first time he had heard her voice. The voice that was to haunt him, a very long time. Those black round eyes and that wide smile in her rossy lips. That angelic face. That pampered yet innocent laugh. That was how she was. A totally loveable crazy girl.
Adam notices Chris and me, staring at him.
Suprise. He blushes.
Our worried face turns into a cunning grin. Evil has come to our soul. The Evil spirit in the television doesn’t bother anymore. The pitiful cries of the poor victims is left unheard. (It was a movie afterall)
What was her name ? Chris ask first. I look at him annoyed.
What ? What was who’s name ? Adam stammers. Lying has always been his weakest assest.
Her name ? I cross question him, catching him off guard.
He looks at the television pretending to watch the horror movie. But he fails poorly.
We keep staring at him. Chris speaks again. What was her name ?
Adam looks at me with a pleading eyes begging me to stop this sweet torture. I’m unmoved. He senses it. He feels slighty irritated. But there is no choices left. He will have to tell his story.
His Love story.
Her name was Priya. Second year, Law Dept. Adam speaks up slowly.
When ? I ask surprised. ( Adam had always boasted that he was single. But now something else was happening. And I could not believe it. ) I wanted to know more. Maybe I had a new story, I rejoiced secretly.
Quite a long time ago, he speaks again.
How ? Chris cuts In.
Enough, Adam says and pretends to sleep. I kick him hard in his groin. He shrieks.
Chris laughs hard. I laugh a nervous smile too. I don’t want to be kicked there.
Adam face is red, pure pain visible. He looks at me accusingly. I’m sorry, I make an apologetic face like a li’l lost out puppy. It always works with Adam. He hates it. He does nothing. I heave a sigh of relief.
When did it happen, I say to him ?
What, he looks at me.
Priya, I say.
Long story, he says.
We have all the time you want to, Chris whispers. I look at him and smile. He winks.
Adam sees two puppy face grown ups infront of him.
A year back, he begins…
It was Sunday.
8th of June, 2014 ★
My friend Bhavesh called me one evening from Darjeeling. He wanted me to do him a small favour. He wanted me to make a delivery.
A Pizza delivery.
He had some friend of his who studied at the “Judicial Law College” who wanted to have pizza. And as I was the nearest to the college hostel, he ask me to do the simple task.
Get the pizza from the pizza boy. Take a cab and go to his friend’s hostel deliver the pizza. Mission accomplished. But What he didn’t mention to me was that his friend was a girl.
I wasted a good twenty minute to get to the address. I took my phone out. Suddenly it started to rain . The black clouds had been hovering the sky like some pack of wolves. Finally they had decided to pour in . I ran towards the nearest tree for shelter.
I Check the time. It was 5:30 p.m. It wasn’t night but the black cloud had shaded everything inside it’s silhoutte ambience.
I dialed the number that my friend had inboxed me. Tring…Tring. I could hear the ring.
I felt tiny drops of rain water dripping into my hair. My tee was starting to get wet. I curse Bhavesh for making me do this.Afterall, I wasn’t some Pizza boy.
Hello, suddenly I heard a female voice close to my left ear. My friend, friend had picked up the call. I was startled. And that moment something happened in my heart. I felt a warmth inside me, even as the rain water splattered over me. Drenching me whole.
Hello, she spoke again.
Uhh….Pizza. I stammered.
What ? Who’s this ? She spoke again. A little louder.
Adam, I blurted.
Who Adam, I heard a stern voice.
Pizza, The Pizza… I stammered.
The pizza boy. She completed my incomplete sentence.
I’m so sorry. Please come to Block-C. There is the Red Building. Give me a call then , I will be there. And the line went dead.
I wanted to speak. I wanted to tell her that I wasn’t a Pizza boy. I wanted to tell her that I did not had the slightest idea where this Block-C was. But something inside me told me that everything will be fine. I needed to see my friend’s friend.
Hello, I spoke softly this time without stammering.
I can see you. Do you see me, she said excited. I could hear soft voices. Her friends, I assumed. I look around. There were a group of girls who stood at the far end of of the of the block. I could not see their faces. But I knew she was there. She was one among them. My heart knew she was one among them.
The street light reflected five faces. There umbrellas constantly making a splattering sound as the raindrops hit them. I could see all of them. But My eyes would recognize none. My heart sank. I felt heavy at heart.
Suddenly then, I saw a figure appear from behind the girls. My heart leaped an unknown euphoria. Hi, she smiled. The light reflected her face. The round black eyes. That chubby cheeks. That long neck. That perfectly curved figure.
Priya. I completed her incomplete sentence this time.
She was taken aback.I smiled nervously. I cursed my intelligence.
Yes, I’m Priya. She smiled at me. But now the sweet smile had gone and there was a suspicious look in her face.
You told me your name over the phone, I blurted out again. Now that was again an inessential explanation. Another curse at my intelligence.
But surprisingly hearing this might have made her feel safe for I could see the sweet smile back in her face. And I silently thanked my intelligence. Mom always said, I was a Hero. Maybe I was.
Here is your Pizza, I handed her the neat packed parcel. Thank you…She looked at me flummoxed.
Adam, I said.
Thank you Adam, the girls who had been silent the whole time spoke in unison. Had they not spoke, I would have never notice them. Irony, I told myself amused.
Thank you Pizza boy, Priya said softly. Her eyes look towards me. Our eyes met. We had the same twinkle in our eyes.
I tried hard to speak . But words would not Come out of my throat. I wanted to nod, but I felt numb. My mind blacked out, and the only face I could see was her.
I don’t remember when I reached my apartment. I don’t remember what happened. All I remembered was her face. That beautiful face.
I search for her the next day. But she was gone. I came to know that she had gone to Delhi. The pizza was her last dinner at the hostel with her peers. A farewell party types.
And I lost her.
Adam eyes were moist.
Chris eyes were watery too. I checked mine. I hate crying.
We remained silent for sometime. None spoke anything. The revelation was a shock.
I don’t remember who slept off first that night.
Two weeks later…
We are watching some Bollywood Masala movie. Adam brings tea for us. I take a sip. It’s relishing.
You have a magician hand, I hear Chris appraise Adam.
Suddenly there is a knock in the door. The doorbell rings.
I Check the time. It was 5:30 p.m. It wasn’t night but the black cloud had shaded everything inside it’s silhouette ambiance.
I open the door. I see a girl. Drenched. All wet. She has round black eyes. She looks at me surprise. She tries to speak something. But she fails. She slowly turns back. Her eyes moist.
I rush in. I grab Adam and pull him hard towards the door. He is heavy. I half dragged him. Chris is too stunned to say anything. He keeps staring unsure of my action.
We reach the door. I see the figure descending the stairs. I can’t let her go.
Priya, I shout.
Adam looks at me alarmed. He stands perfect upright. He looks at me and then towards the stair. He sees her. She sees him.
He smiles. She smiles. I can see drops in her eyes, flowing down her chubby chick’s. She runs back hard. He is frozen.
She stands near to him. He looks at her. He starts crying. She hugs her. They cry.
Why ? Adam speaks between his cry. He is sobbing like a baby. His face looks a like a puppy. I smile.
My phone got stolen in the train. And I did not knew how to find you. I would have never known the truth if I had not spoken with Bhavesh. He told me about the Pizza incident only yesterday. I thought I had lost you.
Suddenly, She slaps him. Why did you not contact me all this time ?
I thought You did not like me, Adam protested meekly.
Why did you not identify yourself that night ? She was smiling.
You didn’t let me, he blushed.
I look at the sky. It wasn’t night but the black cloud had shaded everything inside it’s silhouette ambiance.
I’m walking outside. Chris is running towards me. Cursing why we had to leave in this rain.
I look at him. He smiles at me.
I slap him.