I was sitting at the same old workplace doing the same old form of work. It's funny how enthusiastically we start working and then it fades away to random mundane chores.  Not every day does life give you a chance to smile; you have to find it eagerly. But it gives you a chance to sore away…so it depends on you if you give in or not!

I was casually standing at the lunch counter where they served the buffet in office. “Excuse me”, a rather arrogant voice cut through. Had I heard the voice before? Maybe not, I was not even interested. It was  my lunch hour and I sure wanted some peace of mind!

“Oh my god, is that you?” I looked up, holding my plate with some salad and curry. “I am sorry…” I began to say but stopped abruptly. Was it really him? Had it really been two years? It seemed like ages, but he had not changed a bit. “You look lovely.” I could just manage a smile. What was I supposed to say? “Come, join me for lunch. I am sitting right over there.” I wanted to say no, my friends are waiting right there, but I could not make myself say it. I had dreaded seeing him and being with him. I did not know what to say to him. Still, I joined him for lunch.

“Hey, how have you been? When did you join work here? I just joined yesterday.” “About six months”, I spoke and immediately packed my mouth with food. I could not even look at him straight. Something still hurt right there in my heart. “It is so nice to see you. I swear, this is a strange city. The people are so uptight. No one wants to talk. I am going to have a bad time adjusting here.” I swallowed what I was chewing and realized I could not eat more. “I have to go, have a meeting now.” I stood up abruptly.

“Hey, give me your number. I am going to need a lot of help around here. And it is always so nice to talk to you.” I could not smile. What was I supposed to say – “No, I don’t want to.” Or was it “I don’t remember my phone number.” Gosh, I could not say those things, they were too lame. I was taking too long to think. I had a brain freeze situation. “Here it is.” I gave him my number and almost hurried back to my desk. Was I hit with a thunderstorm or was it the Tsunami? I could not decide which was worse.

Two years ago we were having dinner in a fancy resturaunt. I was sure it was love. We had made all the promises and the customary devotional statements. Maybe twenty one was not the age. Or maybe he was not what I was expecting him to be. Not when I had found him in drunken state kissing my batch mate from college. I had never called him again. Why should I even give the respect of breaking it off?  I had decided, I was never going to see him again. That is when I moved to this city. And after all these years, had I forgotten how he broke my heart?

Why was he important anyway? I had better things in life to worry about. If I had decided he was a loser, I was going to learn to treat him like one. But there was a just a little problem – my brain freeze situation. I did not know how I was going to overcome it.

I was just taking some print outs when I heard his voice again. “Hi there, where have you been? I was looking out for you at lunch time. Let’s go for some coffee in the evening.” Was I a tissue which he could use and throw away anytime? Why was he doing this anyway? I looked at him quizzically. “Hey, I know what happened years ago, but let's put it behind us. Let us be friends. It was so childish anyway.” Yeah right, now he was going to make the rules! I did not know what to say. Friends? Would being with him not remind me of his atrocious deeds? My heart was in no mood to be gregarious and even if it was, it was not going to be this guy. “I don't think we can be friends.” “Hey, grow up yaar, what's wrong. We were in college.” “My friends are individuals with some dignity and substance. And strangely, you do not fit the post! So, no thank you.” “You are overreacting. I know you haven't been able to get over me. You still like me, don't you?” I was not going to be a tissue this time. I had had enough of him. I smiled. “I know you have never had the mind to figure out what a relationship is. Trust me; I don't want to stare at the biggest mistake of my life every day. Now if you don't mind, I have better people to see and be with!”

It felt good. Why should I settle for being amiable and politically correct? I looked around. If being polite was the norm, I was playing with the rules. But if the rules changed to frantic dishonesty sugar coated with blatant lying, I was not going to be a part of it. Why should I be apologetic about what happened? I was going to live my life exactly as I wanted to, sans the losers of course!



in Soham nia
01/31/2010 9:34pm

Funny isn't it? How one such rendezvous can take us 2 years back in time, like it was yesterday. To some extent love n hate transcend the concepts of time and logic. Anyway, great post Lovya!

01/31/2010 9:34pm

I agree Soham. And sometimes you can just feel that yesterday....and either be sorry for it or just miss it! Thats the essence of memories....Thanks for liking it!

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