The cross connection

||Because his heart was a secret garden and the walls were very high||

“So, that was all about Alpha interferon. Any questions?” Asked BLM sir after taking almost 3 hours of class. None of us had any question. Even if we had we wouldn’t say it because Mr.BLM had an undesirable-most-of-the-time habit of asking ten more questions to one question asked. Nobody wanted that. We were hungry.
“Lets go to the canteen. I am starving.” I pinched Aditya, my best friend cum whatever you want to call it. He nodded putting the books inside his bag. We happened to be the so called toppers who basically had a miserable life. Our lives revolved around calenders. Yes, calenders because we had deadlines, deadline of submission of assignments. MBBS wasn’t a kids play. Obviously! We had to be a little more updated with every day, every hour and every minute. Time once lost cant be regained , BLM said almost in every class even though we were wide aware of the sentence. Our days were mostly about writing assignments, convincing teachers to extend the deadline for one more day , yes one-more-day is something which mattered the most for us back then.

Anyways, we went to the canteen to satisfy our hunger.
“I shouldnt have taken MBBS! I am dying.” Aditya said with a big sigh.

“You cant give up Adi! You are doing so well.” i said.
“Theres no life! No life at all….! Are you thinking you ll have a life once you finish this 5 years thing?” He said struggling to open a cup cake pack.
“ Shall we plan to go for a movie?”

“Movie? Which movie? Any good movie in the box office?” He asked, with a bit of interest this time.
“I will find out.” We hardly had any clue about theaters, new movies, latest hit songs, hot heroines etc etc. I was as clueless as he was.

Finally because of god’s immense grace Mrs. Stacy gave us that valuable one more day to finish the hematology assignment. Aditya and I finally made the movie date happen. No, he wasnt my boyfriend. Well, even though he was a friend and with absolutely no doubt was a guy, it necessarily did not mean that we needed to be in a relationship. He was someone i was so comfortable with, loved to share happiness, frustration excitement etc. We had a separate space, in the sense we studied together, we submitted assignments together, we ate together. We had good rapport with other students too yet we preferred to be in each other’s vicinity.
Even before we realized it, the college got over. Both of us graduated with a first class and broad smile on our faces. Aditya and I were going to get parted. He wanted to do MD and i , MS.
I still remember the day, tear in our eyes how we bade good byes to each other promising that we will meet again and will always keep in touch. He flew to London soon after that. I almost lost a part of myself.

Okay, so finally i owned my clinic. I am a doctor! Wow! But as Adi used to say our lives are not going to be peaceful at any point of time, my days started with surgeries, some were normal surgeries, some were complicated. Initially i felt weakened looking at the patient’s family. They way they cried with folded hands “Doctor! Please save my child. I cant live without her.” But now i can manage.
Things were going fine until a call from a wrong number woke me up on a fine afternoon.

“Hello!” Said a man of about 26 -27 from the other side.
“Hello? Who is this please?” I said, thinking it could be either from any of the patients or from the hospital i work.
“Hey, this is Sameer speaking. I just wanted to know if you received the courier.” said the man.

“Excuse me! I think thats a wrong number.”

“Please, i am sorry for yesterday. You know i repented so much.” He said, apologizing to someone who doesnt even have a clue of what is being spoken about.

“Mr. Sameer. I am a doctor and I am sure its a wrong number.” I tried to clarify again.

“But. .. how is that possible. I just spoke to my friend Mitali! I even sent a courier of bouquet to this address. Avatar apartments , 23 Gandhi road Mayur vihar.” He said as confused as i was.
Surprisingly i received a bouquet right then.
“Hello? Hello Mr. Sameer. You sent a bouquet to my address. Whom do you want to send the bouquet to actually?”
“My friend Mitali Swaminathan. This is the address i had.” He said with extreme politeness. It was quite clear that he was given a wrong address and needed help. He sounded like a gentleman.

“Let me help you find your friend. Give me a second.” i said and called out to my mom asking her if she knew any Mitali Swaminathan around. She at once gave me the correct address.
“Okay note down the correct address.” I said and gave him the correct door number.

“I am sorry i bothered you in the middle of something. Really sorry.” The voice came from the other side.

“Thats okay. I am glad i could help. Have a great day.” i said.

“Thank you.”

This was a very casual incident. But again one fine morning i received this call from the same number.
“Hello! I am so sorry i was caught up.The meeting got over late.” the same voice came.

“Excuse me! This is a wrong number.” I said little roughly this time.

“Oh. I am sorry but i dont know why is this happening everytime. I guess thats a cross connection.My apologies.” He dropped the phone again.

This weird co incidence happened for five to six times. And i literally got annoyed of this.

It wasnt even a month after this co incidental phone calls came to my number i got this friend request on Facebook. Sameer Banerjee. A guy, exactly according my prediction 27 years old, with a clean shaved good-boy kind of face added me on Facebook. I did not find it appropriate to add a stranger. I ignored.
Then after six months while i was reviewing my account details i found the name again.
Call it a stupid instinct, i felt something about his innocent eyes and clicked on the “add” button.

Days passed by.

“Hello! Its weird how we spoke because of a cross connection. I feel sorry for disturbing you so many times. I just wanted to say Thanks.” Is the message i got from the same guy Sameer after few days.
“Thats okay. No problem.” i typed.

Mind is weird. Absolutely insane. I am telling you why.

It had been two years this guy was someone i never paid heed to. Even though he liked my pictures and posts and blogs etc i hardly spoke to him.
But what happened next was kinda weird. I (why-on-the-earth) responded to a couple of his messages and thats when we actually started chatting over the internet. Sameer was a software developer based in Pune, we even a had a couple of mutual friends. Anyways, days passed by.

There wasn’t a single day he did not text me. It was always me who responded irregularly or never responded at all. This guy was consistent in greeting me everyday, he clearly was interested in me.

For two years constantly? This much patience for one boring girl who doesn’t even talk back properly?

I figured out almost after two and a half years. But clearly i did not believe in online emotional crap. We just were talking like friends. When i told him about things happening in clinic and how nasty the surgeries can get, he listened to me carefully inspite of being absolutely clueless about what i was talking about. He never stopped me, similarly when he spoke about his software developing stuff, coding and everything that i was abolsutely clueless about, i patiently heard.

A step ahead? Really?

Sameer once told me he finds me interesting. That was still okay. I didn’t find him anything that way. Nice person. Thats it. But somewhere deep inside, i waited for his messages, his greetings, his good mornings and good nights. Yeah! It was weird. Do i find him interesting too? This question crossed my mind quite a lot of time and everytime i dismissed it.
Days passed by… almost an year more.

He made it crystal clear that he liked me. We can sense it anyway. I was not really interested. I told him that. He held on to me. He said i am free to take any decision i want , but he will wait for me.
“You are funny! I havent even met you!” I said one day diluting his seriousness with a laughing smiley.
“Have patience. We will.”

2 years passed by.

Sameer was promoted to the level of a good friend from a stranger. I knew about his likes, dislikes, family, office, friends, favorite food etc etc. Unconciously, it felt like i knew him as a whole.

Things started changing, when ,slowly, very slowly he started opening up himself. He shared his insecurities, his goals, his fears with me. As he went on opening up his feelings i started falling for him, even before i could actually realize it.

This soft spoken gentle man finally got me head over heels. Completely. And i , who thought he was a different pole, started finding million ways which were common in both of us.

*****

Finally this guy succeeded to confuse me. I was confused as to whats next?
Well, i would name this the weirdest thing that has ever happened to me in my life. I fell in love with somebody who i thought was never going to matter in my life ever. The weirdest thing was that i hadn’t met him directly.
We had been talking for hours everyday. I wanted to come to a conclusion, but patience is something i was asked to have. I was postponing my feelings. Postponing , but for how long? Sameer did not tell me that.

Whenever i initiated the topic of him visiting me he said the same old thing. “Have patience! Why are you so impatient?”
It pissed me off. I have had enough of patience all these days. But never could i talk rudely to this guy who spoke gently even when angry.
May be , he wants to just keep talking? Thoughts of different kind crossed my mind, but i dismissed them.
A part of my mind believed he was serious one part said he wasn’t. A part of me desired him, a part of me was scared. A part of me wanted to see him directly one part of me was insecure. Absolutely clueless about whats happening between us, i grew restless. Rather desperate. To know what was he up to. What was he thinking about us?

You would have guessed it by now, that the most dangerous thing happened to me. Finally.

“Syndrome” as we doctors would like to call it. Love. The biggest of all syndromes i think. I was in love with somebody i haven’t met. Absolutely weird as i already know. I had no clue if he thought the same way about me, if he was as eager as i was to see each other. Whether we would be compatible. I was not asking commitment , i prefer giving space to people, but meeting each other was important on the first place to atleast know each other better. We can talk over phones for years and still not know the person we are talking to. Commitment comes later when you get to know the person to the nook. Questions cluttered my mind.

“Hi!” my phone blinked with his message. I was stressed. I did not pick it up.
“ Hello Pooja! Are you okay?” Came the second message.

“I am fine. Whats up?” I texted back almost half an hour later.

“You alright? Let me call you.” He typed. Yes, he had always been all this sweet and thats exactly how he got me.

We spoke about random stuff, office clinic, cases software release, movies, but never about the main thing we needed to talk about the most.
We needed to talk……..

Being a gentleman is never out of fashion…..

Sameer, this guy was amazing i tell you. I haven’t come across anyone like him before. The king of patience, sweetness and care. No matter how much angry you are, how much black the day went for you when this gentleman says a “hello” over the phone, you just forget them all. There came days when i said i don’t want this to continue over the phone, and i find this nothing but just a timepass,inspite of knowing that it was not, he tactfully calmed me.

Finally one day after all these emotional drama, he gave me a date. Even though Delhi is terribly hot during Summer and Sameer hailed from a place like Pune where the weather is pleasant always, he agreed to come to see me in April.

“”Delhi! and that too in summer? Are you planning to kill me!” Sameer exclaimed.

“Okay then. Find someone from Shimla or Kashmeer. Dont call me again!” This was my dialogue everytime he shoved me up with all these melodramatic sentences.

“ April, 21st April i am coming to see you! Happy? No more emotional blackmails now!” Finally my insecure Sameer came up with a date. I was really happy.

“Good for you!”

Sameer was shy when it came to talking about love or romance, he was very poor in saying romantic things. Like really poor. For an instance, if you tell him “ you’re cute” he will send you a downright comical reply which doesnt even relate to what you just said. I called him bitter gourd! He laughed.

I have seen guys with expensive bikes, tattoos, stud kind of attitude, but never a gentleman before. Sameer was a gentleman, in true sense.

21st April.

The flight was two hours late. I was waiting at the departure with a lot of curiosity, questions and excitement hovering me.

What if he is not as handsome as he looks in his pictures?

What if he is shorter than me? What if he is way older than he says? What if he has a weird gait? I had these weird questions stagnating my thoughts.

Suddenly someone among the crowd got my eyes stuck.I never found myself looking at anyone like that before, that was always the other way round. Yes, people looked at me, since i was in school.

With a white check shirt and a dark blue jean paired with a black trolley was none other than Sameer coming out of the departure gate. As he approached near, i noticed him even better. I didnt know exactly what are the appropriate words to describe him, because i needed to stop looking at him to start thinking about anything else. His skin tone was different, neither milky white nor dark. It was a golden shine which made his face glow that way. I wanted to ask him what was the secret behind this glow, but it would have looked very weird to ask that right after i meet him. I had time for that. His sunglasses where tucked in between his shirt. He took it out and wore it.

Classy. Quite classy i thought. Good dressing sense is something which impressed me first about him.

“Hi! Sameer!” I came back to senses when he greeted me with a firm handshake. He wasnt all that shy and clueless as i believed he was.

“Pooja!” I smiled still cherishing the warmth of his hands.

“I know.” He said with absolutely the same smile.

“ The car’s there.” I pointed outside. We walked till the car.

“How was the journey?”

“ Journey was good. Good to see you Pooja!”

“ Good to see you too Sameer! Welcome to Delhi!”

“So, finally you’re here.” i said, not being able to find any other sentence to start with.

“Yes, I wanted to see Delhi for a long time.” He said.

“So, you’ve come to see the city is it?”

“ Mostly. But since you are my host, i will have to see you anyway.” He said smiling. He looked handsome, but i still wanted to punch him. I had been waiting to see him like anything and all he says is he has come to see the city! Moron!

He laughed. I gave him a dirty look, but smiled again.

We met for the first time, and it was entirely different, initially i found it difficult to start conversation with him. But it was soon we both started feeling comfortable in each other’s company.

I had booked him a hotel with an AC because he did not want to die of the Delhi heat.

“Can you survive here for two days Sameer?” I asked.

“I guess, yes.” He smiled and sat down on the bed. This chocolate boy had good sense of humor, a preferably dirty yet controlled mind and a very cute smile.

I liked him.

The next morning.

My phone vibrated. It was Sameer.

“What plans for today?” He was still half asleep. But he sounded cute.

“Get ready in an hour , we are going out.”

“Where?”

“Surprise!”

I generally dont take much time to get ready, within an hour i was ready and went to greet him to his hotel. He opened the door at the single ring of the doorbell. He just had shower, his hair was messy. Wet. He wore a blue t shirt and a black track pant. He still wasnt ready.

“Hi!” He said with a cheerful smile rubbing his head with a towel. I wished if i had arrived a bit late. I wanted to kiss him, but that would have been really fast, and the kind of guy Sameer seemed to be, he would have left Delhi right then if i attempted anything like that. Atleast i thought so.

He kept me waiting for not so long and came out ready in a white shirt and blue jean, he picked up his glasses and said “Lets go!”

I don't remember noticing any guy this way before. I dint want to make it so obvious that i kind of fell for him already.

“What would you like to have for breakfast?” I asked,suppressing all the naughty thoughts popping up in my brain.

“Anything you like.”

We went to a nearby restaurant offering good breakfast. We ordered for bread sandwich and fruit juice and spoke about random stuff. He told me how much tired the previous day had been to him because they went trekking from office, i listened to him silently. Noticed every detail about him.

Who said only a guy notices girl ? It can be vice versa too :p

Meeting him removed a huge amount of doubts from my mind and i started feeling convinced that yes, i can go ahead with this guy. Fair enough. We had just met, there was a lot more to explore.

Evening

“Mexican?” He asked.

“You don't like Mexican?”

“I love Mexican food!” He said, thank god he did. Because i had planned a specific restaurant for dinner. One of the posh restaurants in Delhi.

The waiter served us the menu card. We got boggled with the innumerable items being served there. Sameer scanned the booklet kind of menu card in two minutes but finally said “Serve us the best dishes.”

The food arrived even before we realized the time. We were lost talking to each other. Not romance specifically, it was more about our likes, dislikes preferences, bad times good times.

I did not want the evening to get over so fast. I wanted to live the evening more with Sameer. I did not want the time to pass by so soon. We took pictures of each other, the food. While checking the pictures our hands brushed, both of us noticed it and smiled.

Things were falling into place. We were not self conscious anymore, everything was happening spontaneously. After the lovely dinner we did not have an inch space left in our stomach.

“Would you mind going for a short walk?” I asked him.

“Sure. But is this area safe for you?” He asked looking around. Everyone knows how safe Delhi has been for girls. I liked him being concern.

“Just a short walk.” I said looking at the watch. Damn it was already 9:30!

“Come.” He agreed. We started walking along the pavement. Not holding hands like you would be assuming while reading this.

Among many things he was saying i noticed something. Whenever he was talking about his wedding plans and things related to his future he always used the phrase “The girl i am going to be with”. It kind of killed me inside but i thought. Fair enough. He needed time to be sure if i was the right person for him.

“You are making me walk for so long!” He complained after walking for half an hour.

“I am sorry, let me call a taxi.” I said while he walked ahead of me. I called a taxi and Sameer turned back.

“Hey! Hey no! Pooja! I was kidding ! lets walk some more.” He came running to me.

“But you said you were tired.”

“Oh no Pooja i was kidding.”

We let the taxi go , the driver would have got pissed, but my Sameer, sorry he wasn't mine yet , *Sameer wanted to walk.

“I can try luck in acting , no?” He chuckled.

“Yeah right! From a software engineer to actor, not bad at all.” i said. We both laughed.

The next day was difficult. I had to let him go back Pune. He had some software release the next day, he could not stay back. Even though i did not see any sign on his face saying he would miss me, i acknowledged the fact that i will. Anyways, we had the breakfast together and he got ready to leave.

“Great seeing you! Hope to see you again, soon.” he said. His cab was ready, he stepped in and waved me bye, smiling. I maintained an involuntary smile too. His car soon left the vicinity of my eyes. The sun was right up, emitting hot rays as if someone was BBQing me.

Days passed by..

We got back to our normal schedules soon after Sameer left. I had critical surgeries, a couple of tours here and there which kept me busy for a month. Sameer and i mostly happened to talk at nights.

“Hi!” he called one night. It was 12:30am. I was drooling with sleep.

“Hi Sameer!” I said almost yawning.

“What have you been doing all day?”

“As usual. Clinic, home. You?”

“Same as everyday.”

“Not sleeping?”

“Not anytime soon. I just cant get out of that one day i spent with you in Delhi.” He said. Finally. He said that. I wanted to thank him.

“I had a great time too.” i said, getting up on my bed taking a pillow as my support.

“I always wanted to see you and i am glad that finally happened. You’re really sweet.” Okay. He said that again. Sweet. Complimenting a 12 year old girl. Anyways a compliment is a compliment.

Things were looking as if were smooth until i had another conversation with him. He called me in the evening on his way back home. I was driving, so asked him to call back in ten minutes.

“Reached back safely?” He asked, presumably eating something.

“Yeah, just parked. What are you eating?”

“Sandwich, i am dying of hunger. Whats up?”

“I told u, just reached.”

“Can i call u back in two minutes? Mom is calling me up.” He asked. He loved his mom more than any other thing on earth. Tell his mom anything and this gentleman will not take a moment to teach you a lesson.

“Sure.”

He called me after one hour, i guessed the call took longer. I wasnt surprised, he spoke to his mom once of twice a day which wasnt enough for this mother son conversation about every small big stuff happening throughout the day. I was sure that he definitely would have told his parents about me.

“Does your mom know about me?”

“Havent spoken to her about it yet. Will do when the right time comes.” He always used to say. Many days passed by but he still said the same thing. I did not know how to react to that. I avoided the arguement.

Was he not so sure about me?

“Why are you so impatient? Are you in a hurry?” He asked me and this sentence really pissed me off. I wanted to let him know that i am NOT asking him to get me married right away and hence NOT in any hurry.

Few things started intriguing me.

  1. He did not tell his parents that he has been talking to me. Whereas i told my parents about Sameer right after i met him.
  2. He did not want to talk about our interactions to anyone.He wanted to keep it all a secret till that “correct time” comes. I had no clue what the correct time is supposed to mean exactly. May be, he knew the exact definition of it.
  3. Whenever i asked him what i meant to him exactly ,he got bored of the conversation, and wanted to divert it saying “ I haven’t thought of anything now. I need time.” Haven't thought of anything? Really?

I spent many nights swapping sides without sleeping. Our relationship status which looked steady started to take a different course. Sameer never told me anything concrete based on which i could go ahead. Never , except for the fact that he liked me. We may like many people, our pets, our friends our family, he never made it clear. He got irritated everytime i asked him that.

I am a girl, i have emotions like every other girl. I also wish to hear from the person i love to tell me that he loved me as much as i did. Sometimes letting each other know how much one really mean to other is necessary. I wished if Sameer understood that. But i badly failed. He asked me if i am doubting him to be involved with anyone else. I tried to explain to him, i was not doubting him that way. I still dont know how fruitful i was in explaining that to him. Sometimes i felt Sameer was falling apart, and i wanted to hold him back. Hard. Really hard. Still he was slipping away.

He had made it very clear that he wasn't still sure about me which was pretty enough to shatter my confidence level that i had before.

In case his parents decide something else for him, he would have a safe escape saying he never really promised me anything. And i would be left shattered all over again…

Would it be surprising? Was it unreasonable for a girl to think that way after a guy says he is still as unsure as he used to be before meeting each other?

Sleepless nights hovered me. Flash backs of few moments i had left behind chased me till i became weak to my knees.

5 years back.

Mumbai

“You said green and pink!” I complained.

“But i think blue is your color!” Siddharth took out the blue saree from my wardrobe. He looked stunning in an olive green Kurtha with sophisticated thread work. I fell in love with him everytime i saw him in traditional bengali clothes. Not that he wasnt handsome in jean t shirt. His frame-less specs added to it. He was a tall man with average muscular features with a cute face and yes a dimple. A dimple on his right cheek. Words fell short to me when i tried to say how much i loved him. He was my life. May be more than that.

“Okay!”

“I want my mom dad to be awestruck when they see you!” He said, trying to come closer to me.

“Am i already not quite beautiful?” I said pushing him away.

“Thats the problem with you! You never thank me for the compliments i give you!” He gave me a dirty look realizing that he did not really have a chance with me then.

“Get out of my room now! Let me get ready. Chalo c’mon!” I had to push him out of the room and lock the door from inside.

“How long should i wait?” He said complaining.

“Ten more minutes. I am almost done.” I adjusted the hair and put a subtle matching blue bindi on the middle of my forehead.

“Wow!!!” He got up from the chair seeing me coming out.

“Dr. Pooja Roy! Why the hell are you not trying modelling?” He asked.

“Should i?” I said, posing like a model.

“You look gorgeous! Cant wait to introduce you to my family!” He whispered.

“I cant wait to meet them too.”

I was meeting his parents that day. Finally after two years of being together knowing each other we decided to take it one level further.

His parents were lovely. Siddharth was very dear to everyone in the family. His choice was going to set a standard for his younger siblings. He was the eldest son.

Everything about the meeting was perfect.

We took innumerable pictures together as if we were already married and his parents were my in laws.

I was happy because he never tried to hide our relationship from anyone. Girls who were hitting on him got strong hints that he was taken. He used to tell me how his girlfriends were left heartbroken and we broke into laughter.

Fate had something else for both of us. One day came when he slowly stopped being in contact and started being formal. This intrigued me. After several attempts of asking him whats wrong he said he doesnt want the relationship to go any further reason being the horoscope mismatch. My dreams were reduced to ashes.

He offered me friendship, but i couldn't take that offer as i did not know to be “just friends” with someone i had dreamt of spending my life with. And soon after that he married somebody else.

I still have the jewelry set he had gifted me on my birthday 5 years back. Its intact.

It was hard. Very hard to get back to life after all that happened.

I cried till my tear glands gave up. A time came when i stopped crying. I became numb to all these sensations of love. Romance. They became just words to me.

Somebody said it so right, Love is just a word until somebody comes and gives it a meaning. But what if somebody comes makes you feel loved, gives the word a meaning and leave forever?

I forced myself to work harder. I spent most of the time studying. My life was all about college , a few friends who knew me. Life was difficult. But slowly, i was recovering. The scars were healing over a period of time. I started to live all over again.

And then Sameer happened to me.

The wedding dress was ready. It was a peach coloured benarasi saree with sophisticated gold thread work in it. Mom was dressed in a bright blue silk, dad wore a cream coloured dhoti kurtha. The house was busy arranging things for the wedding.

“You look stunning!” Ankita, one of my childhood friends whispered into my ears. I smiled. It was my wedding.

“Where’s the groom?” I heard someone whispering into my mom’s ears. I startled, looked bad. Mom rushed out with tension on her face. I panicked.

Time passed by….

Sameer wasn’t there. There was no news from his side. I was lost. Tried calling him several times. The phone went un answered everytime. I was getting numb.

Just when i was at verge of getting shattered i received a message.

“Pooja, i am sorry for this. I did not want to do this to you but i had no other go. You kept asking me for commitment and i was not ready. I had said a yes for your sake. I thought i would tell you this earlier but i was scared as to how would you react. I am not ready for wedding right now.

Forgive me if you can. I honestly did not mean to hurt you this way.”

I felt as if someone chocked me with a wire. I shattered on the floor. The jewelry box fell down and broke into two. I lied down on the floor. Numb. Silent. I couldn't cry.

“Madam ji! Madam ji!” You are falling down!” My maid woke me up. I was at verge of falling down from my bed.

“Are you okay?” She got me a glass of water.

“Yeah.” I said still unconscious. It was 9 am. I had to reach clinic in half an hour. I rushed to get fresh with the nightmare looming in front of my eyes.

I wanted to talk to Sameer. Hold him and never let him go. I regretted staying away from him.

“Hey Sameer! Good morning..!” I sent him a text hiding all my weird insecurities.

“Hi..! Good morning.. I am at office. What’s up with you?” He sent. Everything was fine.

“On my way to clinic.”

Birmingham TO Delhi

Things were same with us. We still had no commitment yet we spoke as if we were lovers. I continued to feel as confused as i have been feeling all these days ever since i started liking Sameer.

“If you respect me, you will give me the time i deserve! C’mon i have just met you twice Pooja! Decisions of life cannot be taken this easily.” he always told me. He had a point. I did not really want commitment from him.

What if he suddenly comes up with a horoscope issue? Should i start convincing myself that i might get hurt all over again?

The past experiences had left a strong scar on my life which was still fresh in my mind. Whenever i tried to tell myself its him. Just him. Nothing can alter that, I wondered what about Sameer? Does he think the same way about me? All i needed to do was wait and watch. I agreed to do that for Sameer.

The days were passing by….

It was a monday morning and i was in my clinic when i received a call. An ISD call.

“Hello!”

“Hey Pooja! Guess who’s this!”

“Adi?” I got up from my chair with excitement. It was Aditya’s voice. I heard him after ages.

“Glad that you remember my voice still!”

“Ofcourse i do! How are you?”

“Guess what, i have a good news to give you!” He said.

“Whats that?”

“I am back on 16th of this month for good. I am going to work from Delhi.”

“That’s absolutely great!”

“Cant wait to see you!” He said.

“See you soon.”

Adi kept in touch with me during his stay in Birmingham either through Facebook or Skype. But his homecoming news was not expected so soon. I thought he would work there itself.

The day Aditya landed in Delhi, i was in my clinic , stuffed with a lot of errands to run.

“Hey can we meet today evening?” he asked me over the phone.

“I’ll be late tonight Adi, tomorrow?”

“Very busy?” he said, disappointed.

“Kind of. Monday is little tight.”

“I’ll come to pick you, tell me when you are done from your clinic.”

“Too much of driving Adi! Aren't you tired today?”

“I just wanna see you. End of the story.”

“Okay sir. See you at 9 then.” I hung up.

He was stubborn since the college days, he decided to top, he did, he decided to get a coffee date from the most attractive girl in the college , he did, he wanted to study from UK he did. He had the eye for the best thing in life. He had a class for everything. Even i couldn't cope with that.

He hadn't changed a bit. He waited outside my clinic for about fifteen minutes. We greeted each other as we met.

“So doctor Pooja haan?”

“Yes doctor Aditya! Tell me how is life?”

“ Good so far. Met family, you. I had a good day.”

“Great to see you too. Come home one day, mom will be happy to see you.”

“For sure, i have missed aunty’s pav bhaaji a lot.” he smiled.

“Coffee?” he asked as we passed by a CCD. It was 9:30pm and he suddenly wanted coffee.

“Sure” Its been many years since we had coffee, after college. I agreed. Everything was nostalgic. I remembered our canteen, our quick coffee, late night studying sessions. Everything. My college life wouldnt have been all that memorable if Aditya and a couple of friends were not there. They made those years the best years of my life.

The same cafe mocha tasted even better than what it did when i had it all alone. There were still a number of couples sitting inside the CCD which made us feel that we weren't very late for a coffee. We chatted about our lives, researches and future plans, college days. It felt great after years. Whatever we become in our lives, the truth is that

we need friends, really.

Talking about life Aditya suddenly came up with a question.

“Have you thought about wedding?” He said removing the coffee moustache with a tissue paper.

I went blank. Sameer’s image loomed in front of my eyes. I was still clueless about my relationship status. But i did not want Adi to guess that.

“Soon.” I said, smiling.

Days passed by. My life was going as usual. Sameer, was in daily contact. He kept sending me warm greetings all my day. It was nice. But that was not all i was looking for. I still kept on holding on to him.

There was no change. Nothing at all. Sameer hadnt changed. Sometimes i felt he is serious about the next step to be taken to lay a stronger foundation to the relationship, but the next moment i felt i should withdraw. My mind was in a fix.

to be continued…..

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