How quickly things change!
I hated that guy!
I thought it was okay to be friends with him. I knew I’d never fall in love with him. Never ever. Clown!
And yet, here we are, officially a couple now!
I love him, with all my heart!
Jessica’s phone chimed. It was a text from him.
To celebrate the first month of the change of their relationship status, they went for dinner to a nice little restaurant.
“I think I’ve put on some weight in the past one, one and a half months. I become fatty.”
“What? No! You look wonderful. I love you this way. You’re not fatty. You’re beautiful,” Vineet said and then dropping his voice down to a whisper, “you’re curvaceous. Actually, you’re hot!” He winked to complete the effect.
She couldn’t stop an amused laugh. As he started discussing other topics, she whined, “You never praise me enough. A couple of lines and that’s that!” She made a face.
“My skills in that department are a bit weak, I admit. But I promise to learn fast. Would you like some flattery to go with that Paneer Kadhai?”
“So you’d do it after I have reminded you of it? No way, that’s unacceptable.”
“OK, sorry boss! I’d do it more now. Without you having to ask me. Mummy promise.”
Vineet’s phone rang. It was his father. After a tense few minutes on the call, he said to her, “I have to go home tonight. My mother’s ill.”
“Don’t know. Father didn’t give too many details. Let’s go.”
She could feel melancholia surround her. The thought of being without him was stabbing her heart. At the bus stand, her eyes welled up.
“Arrey, don’t cry baby. I’ll be back soon. Its only a matter of a few days.”
“How will I stay without you?” She hit him on the chest. Her voice was choking now.
Softly, he said, “You’re very strong, baby. I know you’ll handle this phase. Plus we’ve semester exams in a month. Some time will be used preparing for that too, right?”
“I don’t want to….”
He took her face in his hands. Gazing in her mesmerizing eyes he said, “Even I don’t want to stay away from you Jesse. But you know the situation.” He brought her face close and kissed her tenderly. She kissed back, opening her mouth to take his lips in hers. They were at it, oblivious of the surroundings when the bus driver blew the horn. Karun, who was sitting a few feet away on a bench, trying to do something on his phone while the lovebirds chirped, coughed dramatically.
“Time to go Jess,” Vineet said, kissing on her forehead.
“I’d write to you, everyday.”
“Letters. You’ll get them once you return.”
He could only smile in return. What did he ever do to deserve this much love, her love?
She kept waving long after the bus passed.
Next morning, after having kept her composure for the first couple of lectures, she finally couldn’t hold it back. As her eyes got moist, she ran out to the washroom. Inside, the dam broke. She cried for what felt like an eternity. As girls came and looked at her, puzzled, she didn’t stop. At length, when the wails had turned to sobs and the tears had dried, she washed her face and came out. Taking her bag from the classroom, she headed for the hostel. There she proceeded to shut the windows and pull the curtains closed and dropped on her bed, tears flowing freely. Vineet had been gone for 15 hours and hadn’t texted or called yet. His phone wasn’t getting connected and no messages were delivered either. She kept checking her phone every two minutes for a text or call, not realising when she fell asleep.
Something bad had happened to Vineet. She couldn’t see what it was. Some girls were standing there, mocking the two of them. Jessica felt a shiver run down her spine. What was it? Shifting her eyes up, she saw a big dragon swooping down towards her.
Jessica woke up with a shriek. She was drenched in sweat. She saw her phone. 6 pm. No calls yet. The familiar sadness engulfed her again. She got up unwillingly. It had been a hellish day. Time to write the first letter.
To Be Continued….