The Thing Called: Being persistent and adamant.
For the first time since I had joined college, I reached on time. I sat on the first bench. The lecture had already begun when she (my ex-girlfriend) entered the class room 15 minutes late. She had worn a pink dress, and was looking more beautiful than ever. A wide smile plastered itself on my face just by looking at her. She went straight to the last table and sat there, as I was counting the time she took to reach there, and waiting for the sound of the chair being scraped. It was my first day alone in college after all the mess.
At lunch, Kiran sat beside me at the table. I wasn’t interested in chatting afterwards which was the unwritten rule after lunch. I went straight to the reading hall.
Our group had always been famous for making a racket in the canteen and my friends were surprised to see me walk in. I said I was here to read the newspaper. As to their questions regarding Mourya, I said he was in the canteen.
Our college stressed on preparing us well for interviews in the third semester. There were plenty of Group Discussions and mock interviews sessions. Luckily one day we ended up in the same group during one.
I approached her as she was leaving.
Me: Can we meet tomorrow?
Her: Why do you want to meet?
Me: We haven't talked the last couple of weeks, that’s why.
Her: I will let you know by tonight.
She then texted me that she would be free to meet at 2:00 pm. I reached college at 1:30 in the afternoon, but she didn't show up. I trudged back home. At around 7:30 in the evening she texted me, asking me to come online.
Her: I'm sorry. Some urgent work came up.
Me: It's ok.
Her: Please don't take this the wrong way. I am very confused with my career at the moment. And I don't know what to do. You are very focussed when it comes to your career but I am not. Hence, I am focussing on it and it is better if things stay the way they are.
Me: I do not know what you are talking about. I am sure we can sit together and solve the problem, if there is one.
Her: No. Some things are better when solved alone.
Me: Are you saying we cannot meet from now on?
Her: It's not that.
Me: Then what is it?
Her: Please don’t force me. It’s better this way. I also know how to force others. Don't make me do it.
Me: Hey, I am not forcing you. I just want us to be together again, that's all.
Her: Please stop it, Samrat. Let me focus on my studies.
She hung up. I was clueless. We didn't communicate for a month.
Soon after, I came to know that she had been admitted to the hospital. I called her up. She answered the second time.
Me: Hey. Monika told me you have been hospitalized? What happened? Are you alright?
Her: I am ok.
Me: You should have texted me at least. We are friends dear. And friends share their good and bad things.
Her: I didn’t get time to text you.
Me: It's ok. How are you now?
Her: How many times will you ask the same question? I am alright.
Me: The project viva is next week. Will you be able to make it? Who is your guide?
Her: Anand Sir. I guess I will be fine by then.
Me: That’s good news. Projects are due the day after tomorrow. Have you finished yours?
Her: Not yet.
I saw Anand Sir exit the college gate and I rushed up to him. After explaining the situation, I passed the phone to him.
She explained the condition she was in and he allowed her a deadline extension before cutting the call. I was so relieved.
I grew close to Jay and Kiran during the third semester exam. Kiran had introduced me to one of our juniors, Nitin, in the time between the viva and the examinations. Nitin was a talented writer and a great person to be around. He used to recite his inspiring poems as we sat around him.
Kiran and Jay were the reason I could slowly leave the past behind. I was still anxious about her behaviour and I decided to ask her. So I called her. It was exam time.
Me: Hi, how are you?
Her: Going to college for group study.
Me: That’s nice. I have been thinking lately and I want to talk to you.
I paused for a long time.
Her: What is it Samrat? I am getting late.
Me: Errr ...
Damnit why am I choking?
Her: What is it?
Me: Will you be my girlfriend again? Before you say something, I just want to say, you will never regret this decision if you say yes. I will always keep you happy.
Her: Are you done?
Her: I have already told you my reasons. And my answer remains no.
Me: Just give me one chance. Everybody deserves a second chance.
Her: No. I wouldn’t change my mind once I decide on something.
Me: Does this mean you broke up with me when we met online a few days ago?
Me: Shit!! You are so awful and the funny thing is you don’t even know how awful you are. You didn't even tell me you were breaking up with me that day. I didn't expect it to come to this. I thought you were different.
Her: Good!, Now you know I am breaking up with you.
Her: Ok, now may I go?
Me: Bye, my sweet apple pie.