As usual Jenny’s late; I’m waiting for her at G’s, a café we both love. I am bored alone, so I take out my phone and call her. It rings, but she doesn’t pick up. Must be driving, I say to myself. It’s because this has happened so many times, I’ve learnt to carry a book for myself whenever I go anywhere, so that I can at least read to keep myself entertained until Jenny comes.
Mindlessly, I turn the pages of Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, unable to concentrate. I’ve just started the book, and now Roger has invited Dr James Sheppard for dinner. I’m trying hard to focus, but there’s music being played in the background very loudly, making it difficult for me to do so. I look at the time, 04:26 pm, she’s almost half hour late. I decide to call her once again and ask her whereabouts, but I see her coming towards me opening her arms as for me to get up and hug her, so I do.
“You’re half an hour late,” I tell her.
“Sorry bro, I came late because, well, I left late. That’s just who I am as a person.” She laughs. I smile too. I swear her life motto is ‘Always late but worth the wait.’
We’re best friends. She knows me inside out, and I know her. We’ve been together since the fourth grade, and now we’ve lost the count of the number of years of our friendship. Jenny’s family. She asks me what’s up with me, and honestly there’s nothing, the typical office stuff, and the students I have to deal with and then that’s it. There’s also stuff like what I’m going to cook for dinner tonight, or how the bills are due and I’ve to pay it, or how I have to be of Misha’s help in her projects. I’ve a handful of stuff to take care of, but I’m excited to tell Jenny about how I met Sam the other day. I already have texted her, but she’s not the texting type of person, she mustn’t even have seen the text yet. I’m used to it.
She talks about how the locals get her inner devil to haunt everyone in the train, her boss’ wedding reception she attended last night, and a bunch of other things, but as always I zone out. I stop listening to her, and she knows that. But she still keeps talking, to not embarrass me.
“I met a guy.” I snap. Just as I say these words, I realize I have been thinking about him all the time I’d zoned out. I have replayed every minute in my head of the time I was with him, and I feel like it has never happened before.
"Oh goodie," she says, "I'd thought you'd never get over the last guy."
She's right. It took me a lot of time to get over the last guy I dated, we only went out for a couple of months but it'd had a deep impact on my being. But today is the first day in the last whole year that I haven't thought about him by myself, not cared if he'd have eaten his breakfast or not, not worried if he'd been well or not, not even cared that it's his birthday month.
"So, what's this new guy up to?" She asks again, she talks a lot. In fact, between us, she's the only one who talks. I just talk in verbs and she gets my nouns, adjectives and adverbs, and constructs my feelings in her mind with just absolute coherence.
"His name is Sameer." I tell her about everything that happened the morning I met him, and she's pleasantly surprised that I'm actually liking this guy. She tells me she thinks he's the one but I ask her to calm down, as it's only once we have met, and that I don't even know if he reciprocates or not.
"Of course he does," she snaps, "who wouldn't like you?"
"Well, of course." I say and wink, and then laugh. She laughs too.
* * *
Misha is late again. We are supposed to go dinner together, but these teens, I tell you. They want the world to turn according to them. I try to watch Netflix, but I'm kind of angry; I'm up since 6 and haven't eaten much just so we could eat and be together for some time in the evening. But Misha has, of course, taken her time and is 2 hours late.
It's 10, and I'm sleepy already, so I just make Maggi and just am about to eat, when she makes her grand entrance, throws her keys on the floor, opens her hair and flicks them, takes down her sunglasses down to the tip of her nose and says, "Guess who's home."
"The maniac. Who wears sunglasses at night?"
"Oh, I'm sorry, Di. We'll go for an amazing dinner tomorrow. I forgot today. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry." She says, making her puppy face and I instantly melt.
"Get a spoon." I say.
* * *
With time, Sameer and I get really close, move in together and Misha stays with us. It's my birthday and I know they're arranging a surprise party, but I choose to stay mum and not ruin it.
I walk in the house and there's no one, the lights are off, and I see nothing. A part of me feels dejected as to how trash birthday party must this be, with no one here, nothing. As I'm walking in my room with dismay in my eyes, I hear chuckling, and I instantly know Misha and Sam have been doing something in there. I open the door of my room and Sam is down on his knees, saying, "Ma'am, would you like to have a dance?" with a hand out to ask for mine.
I grin widely and nod a yes, and give my hand in his, while the other hand covers my mouth, as I'm really overwhelmed.
Sam is wearing a tux, black colour, and Misha is in a purple gown, and there are all my close friends and acquaintances and Jenny just looks at me from a corner and smiles and I know, somehow she has done the most in this. She has invested more energy than anyone else because the satisfaction of it being a success is evident in her eyes, even from a distance.
Misha gets me all dressed up, and Sam and I have our due dance, and we're having fun, me in his arms, Misha and Jenny having food as both of them eat as much as an elephant, and the weather is perfect, the lights are dim and I'm with Sam, slow dancing as the music fills up the air with love, and that's when it happens. My phone stars to ring. Misha has it so I look at her.
"Who's it, Mish?"
We look at each other, suddenly anger filling up inside us, Sam holds my hand tight, but I'm evidently mad. She shouldn't have called me today.
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