Of course this had never happened before. She had never been this desperate. Normally, she was a very understanding woman, his girlfriend. If he missed a call or two she would wait for five-ten minutes before calling him again. She was a very patient woman.
But all this didn’t cross his mind now. He didn’t need to consciously think of all these things. It was deeply entrenched in his brain that she was a patient, understanding and composed woman. All that came to his mind before calling her back immediately was- this is abnormal. And this too came to him in the form of sensations and not words.
His mind was jammed with the loss of coherent thought. It was only when the operator repeated in her anglicized English- “The number you have dialed is out of coverage area. Please try after sometime,” he realized that he will have to redial her number.
He didn’t even wait for that second to elapse before dialing her number again. This time he heard the bell ringing and felt a little better. She didn’t pick the call so he had to call her again. This time after a considerable number of rings which he obviously did not count she picked the phone. There was long silence, about half a minute long before he heard a soft sound of ‘hello’ almost buried under the sound of her rushed breath. The phone got disconnected. He began to get irritated now. He was almost fuming with anger. ‘This was sucha callous behavior, so irresponsible on her part. Fine if she didn’t want to talk, but this is no way of keeping the call. So abruptly, huh?’ he thought.
He called her back in a fit of anger plus irritation plus annoyance plus unmediated desperation. Instead of her voice, he heard the operator again, “You do not have enough balance to complete this call. Please recharge your number immediately.”
It was fifteen minutes to three by his clock. Now he had that holyshit!-expression on his face.
Immediately his brain replayed the little soft sound of ‘hello’ amidst the overwhelming sound of her pacing breath that he ha heard. Suddenly all his anger vanished, replaced by anxiety. Now he had begun to grow worried. What did she want to talk about? Is she okay? No, she definitely is not fine. Something is wrong. Why was she breathing so heavily? She won’t try to harm herself, isn’t it? She is too sensible to do anything so irresponsible. What kind of a woman she is! I don’t know what to do about her. What do I do now? etc.
He was increasingly growing desperate. But all that he could do was to wait for her call. He was growing fidgety by every passing second. It was becoming more and more difficult for him to wait like this.
There was no answer.
She called again, and again there was no answer. She called him yet again. She kept calling him till she forgot that she was calling him. She was now dialing his number mechanically after listening to the operator informing her that the other person was not responding to her call. She had lost count of the number of times she had dialed his number, 25-30 times, she didn’t know. She wasn’t even listening to the operator now. She began muttering to herself, repeating the same thing over and over again.
The ten heaviest minutes of her life. She had dialed his number thirty-eight times and he hadn’t responded even once.
She let the phone drop beside her. Her gaze stood fixed on the wall in front. Soon her vision blurred with tears. She could not understand why she was crying. But the tears rolled as if they knew everything without her telling them, as if they understood and read her mind better than she herself could. All that she felt was extreme sadness, as if somebody was scratching the flesh of her heart with their finger-nails.
Years ago, one night she had confessed to him, “Yes, I’m in love with you at and from two-thirty tonight.”
He chuckled and asked her to repeat. He had asked her to say it again and again and never to stop. There was so much confidence and authority in the way she spoke these words.
Later he would always say that it was one of the most fulfilling moments of his life.
It was two-forty by her clock now. She pressed her face in the pillow and closed her teary eyes.
When her phone rang for the first time, she just stared at it unable to move and react. second time it got disconnected before she could gather herself to say something.
After the call got disconnected precisely at 2:28 A.M., he threw the phone on his bed and went to the wash-room and sat on the commode with his head buried in his palm. He felt an urgent urge to cry. Last time he had cried was when he was eight or nine years old. A couple of tears moistened his palm and then they stopped. He sat like that for good eight-nine minutes, hating himself for ‘letting himself fall so much and that too what for? A girl?, he thought. He decided that he is never going to even think about this woman who hurt him so much. He also thought that- He will never ever let himself fall for this woman. He will try all that he can to avoid her. He will learn to un-love her. How can she say something of this kind! This is the end, this definitely is the end of it all. etc.
When he came back to his room, he could not stop himself from checking his phone. There were thirty-eight missed calls in ten minutes.
His phone beeped. He opened his inbox. It read:
“You’re mine and I am yours. There’s no way out of this, no getting away, no going back. So this can’t be the end. I will neither let myself abandon you nor let you do that. There’s no existence without you. And if there’s it’s not worth living for. So, I am going to try, try till you don’t come back. I am going to try against your will to leave me and go.”
12 Nov. 2012 3:00
“I love you too.
12 Nov.2012 3:00