TRAIN No 6354. Mysore to New Delhi arriving at platform no. 2 will be delayed because of bad weather. Sorry for the inconvenience.
I scoffed. I wish I had a million dollars. Oh, this time it didn’t work. I was relived because of the delay. To New Delhi, what a noisy destination. After a week in Mysore I was convinced I was free. Living a dream. But then reality slapped me in the face when I received a call from my boss. “I want you to prepare a presentation for noobs. Teach them everything.” The heavy voice broke my rainbow.
And here I was, waiting for my train to home/work.
Spend time alone, check uncheck.
My phone rang again and I started formulating brutal methods of killing the annoying boss.
“Hey, The plan’s on, right?”
“What?” I immediately recognized the voice. It was my close friend. The friend whom you can’t call you best friend because a part of you is friednzoned and is in love.
“Whaaaat?” The extra ‘a’ sounds made me nervous.
“The plan was started a week before. Alone”
“Hey, I told you I was busy. I wanted to hang out too. It’s been years since we met.” She was right. We moved on. She with her smile and I with my smile…
We last met on our college.
“Today is the day!” I said to myself. “It’s now or never!” It took me an hour to dress for this occasion… not for farewell. An hour is a very long time for dress up.
“Hiii” She always had to add some extra sounds.
“You look beautiful.”
“I know, it took me half an hour just to get the hair right”
“Still not done?”
“Stop it. You on the other hand, looks as if you waited for farewell the entire college.”
“You don’t say. I want to leave the college ASAP” except you.
“Yeah I know.” She chuckled.
Now’s the time, say it! The voice in my head called out and I rehearsed everything I wanted to say.
“The college is over. Will you miss me?” her eyes asking mine.
“Yes of course. I have a habit of starting my day with ugly faces.” Stop mocking her. Who are you? Chandler?
I’m losing it.
“Hey, you know I will. You’ll kill me if I don’t.” I patted her head and kissed her forehead. Kisses were the reason everyone thought we were a couple though it always meant care.
“Damn right I will.”
Now! Tell her!
“You remember I said I was hiding something.”
“Yeah the imaginary girlfriend you write about”
“You see, she’s not imaginary. She’s real and not my girlfriend.”
“I figured. So who is she?”
I couldn’t speak. You! I stammered.
“Enough with the drama. I’ll tell you mine once you tell me yours.”
“You go first.” My heart pounded. Surely, It’s that drama guy in junior batch, the one with 4K followers, every girl drools for him. FML!
“Whiner. You probably don’t remember him, he’s with us in 11th grade. Garvit. The guy with noodle hair”
“What? That geek with his books? The I-don’t-wanna-bunk guy?” I lost to noodle hair. Great.
“Yes. The guy who has a beard and is amazing ”
“How long?” I was furious and sad.
“4 months now. We met in the alumini this December. He’s amazingly fascinating person.”
“If you think so, that’s fine.”
“Thank you. Now yours?”
“It’s actually a book I’m writing. I was just creating a good drama”
“I actually thought it was a girl.”
“I’m good at this, right?” I winked.
“Yeah whatever. Let’s get something to eat. I’m starving.”
Now or never? Never.
“So you are coming right now?”
“Yes. I’m arriving at your station in 5 minutes.”
“So I have to bail out in 5 minutes. Easy.”
” I know the platform you are on. I’ll kill u before you escape.”
“But I didn’t tell you. Liar. ”
“I can hear the automated voice”
” I can’t. It’s work. Office calls me back.”
“Listen. Either you can meet the sweet beautiful me and enjoy another week or you can kiss your boss’s ass and be his pet bitch”
“I’ll choose the latter-” She hung up.
Fuck she’s here. She’s here, I smiled.
“You need to get back home.”
“Where’s my kiss?” This again. I kissed her forehead.
“I said, you need to return.”
“I won’t. I’m on a vacation with you.”
“C’mon we meet after 5 years. You should at least try to sound happy”
“I’m happy. I just can’t let my job go”
“You are not. You are just asking for another week leave which you availed in the first place.”
“You shouldn’t have come here. I’m not going to change my destination.”
She turned around and left the place. I saw her take the cab.
The train arrived and the people came to life. I stood and walked towards my destination.
So, never again.
The train left. The cab screeched.
“I won’t be able to attend the noobs. It seems that I have to take another week off. Sorry sir.”
She gave me a sly smile.