She rushed to catch bus as she ignored the name that blared on her phone. Yes, he was calling her for the fifth time now, perhaps to make sure she was finally meeting him. She asked the driver if this went to the City Mall, and hastily jumped upon seeing a gloomy nod. She knew the whole city remained gloomy. Worked up with no light in their lives to brighten them up, everybody was same over here. She looked at her reflection at the glass window as she grabbed the first seat, even she looked gloomy! Hell, the city was infecting her too!
Finally, she was on her way to meet him. It had been six months, that she had been married, and this was the first friend she was meeting post the nuptials. Her best friend, the one and only, who survived her sarcasms and laughed at her jokes! She was too rude to handle. There were limited people in her life and only some made it to her inner most circle. Post the wedding, many had ignored her or maybe moved on. She had stopped calling them and stopped receiving calls from the long distant friends for they could not be there to see her break down. Life had been a lil tough for her for the past certain months. She had been struggling hard in her new job too. Her group of friends didn’t have time to see the broken her, for the world prefers happy places and faces.
Realizing she was contemplating way too much again, she drifted to her novel and waited impatiently to meet him. She had avoided her best to meet him, for she knew he was leaving the country. She had little trust on the word ‘Friend’ now which had become a matter of debate for her, for almost all of them had left her, gone away, taking with them a lil part of hers, every time.
Coming back to him, her mind played back memories of both of them commuting through the same route. They laughed and chatted throughout the journey and never realized the hectic schedule. He was always open to her stories, listening to her opinion about almost everything. He was the one who supported her when she missed home. He was the one who had held her when she broke the news of her grandmother leaving forever. He came running every time she called crying from her cubicle, her frustrations brimming in her eyes as she missed home. He had been around during all lunch breaks, keeping her calm whenever she lost it at her job. He had been a friend, a true one, always there. She too had been her best, with him, to him, as a friend. Their friendship was pure, they both knew, with zero adulterations of gender attractions. Both loved each other as true friends do. The difference of chromosomes never appeared in the bond they shared, a bond that was pure enough to overcome time and years of friendship.
The bus halted and she called him. He was waiting at the security check. He could see her, she could see him. Both smiled and hugged, time stood still.
Without much delay, he gave her a thumbs up on her new haircut, making sure the tease in him comes right into action, as always.. Instantly, they started laughing. Their quota of stories overflowed and timelines of the past six months brewed over in seconds, giving them no time to discuss where to sit!
Perhaps, this was one time, she never looked anywhere else as she passed by the showrooms, her favorite haul. She was a shopping freak, but this time, he was her priority. They walked past the cafes, not realizing the need to sit and talk properly. From his quirky umbrella to her shimmering bag, everything was quickly checked out and commented on.
Seamlessly, they agreed upon a café and found their paradise to continue sharing their never ending reveries. Time passed and the dials on their wrists were ruthlessly ignored.
He updated her on everything happening on the globe, things she had missed not being around!From his first heartbreak to his sad journey through it, he opened up like one does in a confession room. She listened and felt every ounce of his pain break her heart too. She too had gone through a lot. Her wedding was the last time she had seen him. He had tried calling and meeting up a lot many times, yet she was busy fighting her own demons, that varied from a new life to a 24 hour love affair to her ever demanding job to her emotional fights with a city that never paused.
He knew she was busy battling and this was not the time to whine about the past. Finally they were here, they had an eternity all to themselves. The dinner happened, and a session of her favourite CCD Tea happened. They didn’t care of those around them as they laughed their heads off over the fun filled times gone. The memories kept swimming over the surface, poking both and giggling as they gave their personal stances over their shittiest trolls. He told her about the people in the group she had not met since forever. She was sincerely updated about all of them moving to different arenas of their life, taking one step ahead in their careers. She appreciated with a pure heart and beamed as she heard their lil success stories. They were not bitchy, they just appreciated the ones they knew.
From filthy underwear to overflowing things, everything was easy to chat on for them. They naughtily debated about the desires of men and women, making sure their opinion was heard by Sarita magazine back home! She didn’t want the time to move. He didn’t want her to worry about her train, the last train that took her back to her life again. Somebody was waiting for her back home, yet she wanted to stay, for he reminded her of who she was months ago. Time that felt like ages old to her, when she was alive and happy in the world of pals and buddies. She knew this might be her last meeting with him, yet with a heavy heart, and an evergreen smile pasted on her face she left. He made sure she reached home, as she kept her tears balanced between her eyelids, careful to not let them fall as she got into the train.
She regretted all the time she ignored his calls. No reason was justifiable for not being there with him. Her heart filled with guilt as she realized how the city would not have him anymore, working in the opposite corner of where she worked, some kilometres away. Perhaps, he was around, that was enough. How would she cross borders to make sure her friend was there around? She hated herself for being too emotional. People are etched in your hearts, but hold the freedom to leave, when time demands. She texted him assuring she had reached back, but not the same anymore. She would miss him, more than before. Her phone beeped.
He promised, they would meet again. She promised they would! Both have no clue if that promise would be fulfilled or linger on in life the way past six months did.