Read Phase 1 here
Came October and the most inevitable happened. My current relationship came tumbling down and I was single again. No matter how meaningless the relationship, a heart break is always a heartbreak. The first person I called after this happened was
And he being his true self cheered me up. No, he did not do the usual 'chance
pe dance' and try to woo me. Nor did I use him as a shoulder to cry on. I was
over the relationship in like four hours, because nothing about it seemed right
and I somehow looked forward to being single again. See, moping over something
that's over is an individual choice. I did once for three years. Never again.
Go ahead, feel free to judge me.
Not being tied to someone else gave me ample free time. Like I said before that I'm not a home body, I seek solace outside. There was someone else doing the same then. Yes, Mister Cal himself. Both of us have been crazily independent and have only turned towards our friends for comfort. So, at this juncture we found ourselves facing each other. Our occasional meetings then turned into an everyday necessity. Initially we started meeting up every weekend, then started the weekdays. Both of us used to finish work and head towards 'Airlines Hotel' diligently. We sat there and spoke new topics every day. Nobody tried to impress the other, but we sure were surprising each other everyday with our ability to hold on to a meaningful conversation. The feelings were obvious, but I ignored it from my end. I felt it was too soon to get into another relationship especially when I did not want to be in one. Even if he had something in mind, he didn't make it obvious.
By November 2011, my travel was announced. I was to leave by the end of the month and be away for another month. It was a rainy day when my dates got confirmed. The only person I informed was
Cal. I don't know what happened to him, but
he had a sudden urge to see me then. And for some strange reason I too wanted to
be with him. I don't know, travel anxiety or whatever. But the damned rain. It
just wouldn't stop. A little drizzle would have been easy to bear, but this was
almost a torrent. But he called and asked me to wait in Barista. That was my
plan anyway. I sat there waiting for him, feeling a million feelings within me.
It was not more than 10 minutes, when he arrived. He was wearing track pants
and was soaking wet from top to bottom. He stays 20 kms away from the place
mentioned mind you. That relief in each others face when we saw the other cannot be explained. He first frowned at my yellow shoes and then hugged me tight. My
nerves finally calmed down and now coming to think of it, I feel that I've
never ever been assured, like I was that day. He seemed to be really happy for
me and I myself was thrilled too about my first ever international travel. The
thought of not seeing each other for about a month hit us both, but neither of
us said anything. That day was just about me. He let it be like that.
A couple of weeks before the travel we went to RASA again to celebrate. That night too stretched into an airport night. It was 11-11-11. And just like the date, it was special. All we did that night was talk and sip on coffee. And then he asks me, "What the hell am I supposed to do when you're not here"? I did not answer, only because I was thinking of the same question inside my head. Day broke and we went back to our houses to get some much required sleep. By evening, we were back together again. Not once did we feel it to be strenuous or stressful. It was something we both wanted to do and surprisingly our bodies held strong. It was a good feeling. By the time my travel dates approached, we both had established that it would be extremely difficult for us to survive without each other. That was when
Cal started his now famous "Don't
go" cry. It was the cutest thing in the world. And equally painful. Again,
not once did we question as to what was happening. We did not feel the need to.
Finally the dreaded day arrived. The same day he had a close relative's engagement to attend and I had to leave for the airport by 7 pm. I only got my passport in hand by 4 pm and I was still at work then.
Cal got done with the
engagement and rushed to my office. It was 5 by then and we had only an hour to
go. I had to finish my last minute packing and getting ready, so I had
allocated an hour for it. Meeting him then was one of the most difficult things
I've ever done in my life. There was a tear in his eye as he said goodbye. Why
did he not drop me to the airport you ask? Well, it was my first travel outside
the country and my parents and sister were coming to drop me off. They did not
know about him, so he had to stay away. So that was all we had, an odd 50
minutes. It was then that he gave me 'A walk to Remember' to read on the
flight. Yes, the first gift and something that I would treasure for the rest of
my life. He dropped me home soon after and I bade goodbye with a sinking
feeling in my stomach.
I reached the airport, bade goodbye to my sobbing parents and finished my check in. As I sat waiting to board, I called Cal. 10.30 pm. I reached Mumbai by 11.40 pm and my flight to
Dubai was only at 4.20 am. Guess who was on
call with me throughout the entire wait. I asked him to go to sleep, he said
no. When it was time for me to board, he made me promise him that I would call
from Dubai. But
I wanted him to get some good sleep as he had to go to work the next day. But
he wouldn't budge. Reluctantly I made the promise and boarded the flight. As
soon as I reached Dubai
I called him. 6.45 am his time. Sleepily he answered the phone. I had only
about 20 minutes to board my next connecting flight. I sat right in front of
the boarding gate talking to him until the last and final call to board was
made. After a dozen miss yous from both ends I finally switched my phone off
and boarded the plane. Throughout the entire 9 and a half hour journey I
had only one thing in my mind. And one thing held tight in my hand.
A walk to remember.
To be continued.