I called her up again.
After I returned from a late-night party, drunk as hell, and hardly in my senses, I opened up the contact list, and without considering the consequences, clicked on her name.
Even after six months, she still had the same caller tune. It was a song I loved. I listened to it until her phone stopped ringing.
She didn’t pick up.
I thought of calling her up again. Partly because I wanted to listen to the song. In that moment of hesitation, heavy curtain of sleeps fell over my eyelids, and I went into a deep sleep.
A sluggish morning dawned upon me the next day. It felt as if somebody has put a heavy roll of cotton over my head. Everything felt slow and muffled in its wake. I felt like puking.
And I did, eventually.
But only after a full hour of regret and remorse.
Till then I lay on my bed, hoping for the time to rush by.
But it didn’t.
By the time I took shower, it was already past eleven. For a long time, I stood under the shower, eyes closed and body numb. The hot water soothing my jaded nerves.
When I finally came out of the shower, I felt much better.
It was then I remembered calling Rhea in the night. I felt awful again.
. . .
Rhea was my ex-girlfriend.
I had met Rhea one year back when I was in London. I was there on a client visit for ten days. It was on the tenth day I bumped into her. At the airport. She was standing in front of me in the boarding pass queue. We got talking. And we hit it off from the word go.
She was going to Dubai for a business meeting. And I had a connecting flight to India via Dubai. For the next five hours, we discussed books and music and her fascination about traveling. She told me that she would be visiting India the next month. At that moment, I felt this was the start of something new. Something beautiful.
At Dubai airport, we exchanged numbers and a kiss on the cheek.
I knew I was in love.
. . .
She came to India with the first rain of the season. The air swelled up in a musty fragrance and my heart in her anticipation. By the time she sat beside me in the car, heavy sheets of rain were lashing against the windscreen.
It was then we shared our first kiss.
She was staying in India for two months. A duration that appeared long enough the day she arrived. By the time she left, I felt as if a portion of it had been stolen for me, when I was not looking.
Time lost its continuity when I was with her.
It rushed by in her presence. It dragged in her absence. The difference between days and nights stopped existing. No hour was odd. No time was not right. We stayed awake till the dawn and slept late into the day. By the time she had left, the life as I had known, had changed.
I had changed.
. . .