One Hell of a Love
There were four people waiting before me. We were all seated comfortably. It was quite hazy outside where we waited. Mostly like fog. I was not sure how long it will take for the gate to open. I was slipping into some sort of dream and then waking up to find that we were all still there.
Vaguely, very vaguely her face appeared in one of those dream — wakeup sequences I was going through. I could see a pall of gloom in her eyes.
She was not the most beautiful in our batch. But she had the grace and intelligence which I liked when I first saw her. I used to frequent the college library. It was a cool and shady place with lots of trees and a huge building. My haunt was the basement where I could read a lot of old papers. Not newspapers but research papers. I was deep into understanding human mind being a psychology major. It was fascinating. I used to spend all day there sometimes. It was during one of those visits there when I was sitting in that basement she crossed me. I was buried in thoughts but something made me look at her.
She came and sat across me. I looked up and said “Hi”.
She said “Hi”.
That was it. She was into her world and I was. Was I ?
Second time it was the shopping complex which we used to call as SC. She had come with few of her friends and I was alone with a juice. She recognised me and said “Hi How are you?”. I guess she would have stopped at “Hi” but it extended a bit to maintain continuity. There was a five minute exchange of personal details.
She was doing computer science. She was that hard working and intelligent combination but at the same time was very fascinating to have conversation with. We would have met few more times before it became like a regular affair. We had so many diverse topics to cover. I used to talk about Ray Kurzweil and his thoughts on how to construct a mind. She used to talk about algorithms that can be devised to simulate that. I used to talk about politics and the psychology of hoarding wealth and she used to talk about how machines can bring order to this world. It was always like connecting disparate things which brought out completely new meaning. And both of us had a taste for that I felt.
The man in the front, I have seen him somewhere. Though the face is not all that clear because of this fog, I could make out from his features that he is known to me somehow.
But this stupid state of mine moving between some sort of dream world and this haze all around. My God, what a crazy state to be in.
My mind slipped again I guess.
It was on a rainy day in front of the beautiful lake inside our campus that I told her about my wish to be with her forever. It was quite dramatic I thought. I had been with this thought for a long time and went sleepless over it. But the previous night was one of those best nights when I got a solid sleep and fresh I was out of bed like a flower. All this gave me the courage to call her out. She was sort of liking me which I was sure of. But the thought of living with her is not something that I would still dare to tell her directly. I thought there is a small chance that she might reject it and it will bring some sort of awkwardness. But when we went to the SC, got a juice for ourselves and started walking around the lake, it was spontaneous. The conversation was like this..
‘What happened to you..Didn’t see you for a while’ — She
‘I had called you several times…you do not seem to respond’ — He
‘No…oh my God, I had a trouble with this phone, just got the firmware updated’ — She
‘You look fresh today’ — She
‘Yeah, had a good sleep after a while’ — He
‘Why ? Slogging for the exams?’ — She
‘Yes sort of, but you know you were also responsible. I had to spend more time because you were occupying my mind as well. Will you marry me?’ — He.
It was quite sudden for me to go there. She was silent. I was kind of imagining what went on in her mind ‘Take off for higher studies, new people, new environment, broader life’ and where I fit in into that equation.
And it is hard to find answers for all that as answering this question means answering all of that. Which is hard.
Stupid me. Knowing all this and I still popped out something nasty I thought.
The man in the front was trying to get up from his seat. After great difficulty he went and knocked on the gate. The gate was as before silent and still. When will it open ? Why am I waiting here? Who is that guy?
When I went back to my hostel, I was sure the relationship had broken. Several days it went like that. I was busy with some presentations. The fellow next door was quite noisy with his rock music. It used to be like that. But now I was hearing it. I went and knocked his door when he was listening to ‘Doors’.
‘Hey man, nice music’ — I
‘Hey, what man come on in, long time’ — He
‘Wow, you have a living out of this place man’ — I
He had a refrigerator, music system, TV, nice cozy bed, air conditioner, bean bag and a lot of big posters of grown up women around.
‘What happened to the girl’ — He
‘Nothing..just a brief hiatus’ — I
‘You look depressed. I have never seen you like this’ — He
‘Yeah, a bit, but I will get over it’ — I
‘Why don’t you have a gulp’ — He
He opened the fridge and poured a bottle of something and gave me a glass.
I badly needed one and I gulped. It went on.
At some point everything was slowing down around me. I saw him hand over a glass of milk. I gulped that too.
I am now watching him talk something. His lips were growing big by the minute into something monstrous and uttering those words.
It had become dark everywhere.
‘Why don’t we go for a ride?’ — He
‘Sure..’ I was not sure if I said that.
We both walked outside the hostel. I felt my legs were trying hard to reach the ground with every step. His super bike was parked outside.
Next moment I felt the rush of fresh midnight air whizzing past me, sitting behind him.
He was talking something which whizzed past as well. I guess he asked me ‘You enjoying the ride’. I nodded my head.
We had a cup of coffee in some distant road side shop. The folks around were staring at us and our bike.
On the way back, he missed slowing down over a couple of speed breakers. I was still flying high with all that that went in. But I could see a bit better now.
There was this truck coming against us. He took to the side and the next moment we both were flying into the sky.
Now a man dressed in a black overall and a hood had come out of the gate. And I could see him, my next door neighbour talking to that man. He was shaking his head heavily for some of the questions asked by the man. He was taken in and the door closed.
I woke up and smelt hospital.
I saw her. It appeared like she had been waiting for me to open my eyes. A smile appeared on her face.
‘You are alright’ — She
‘What happened ?’ — I
‘You are alright. Thank God, Thank God…’ She kept repeating.
‘What happened , why am I here ?’ — I
‘Don’t worry just take rest’ — She
I felt weak.
When she came back bringing a doctor,
‘What happened to my friend’ — I
She looked at the Doctor. The Doctor was not in a hurry to answer that. It appeared he was working out within himself.
‘He is fine’ — Doctor said and looked at my girl.
I knew he is no more. I no longer waited at the gate.