So the second part is here.
For the uninitiated ones, here's the first part of the story which I'm presenting to you in the format of a series.
It's raining now. Not heavily....but in a light, steady drizzle. The atmosphere has a sombre mood marked by the absence of a cool breeze and a humid ickiness that people hate the most. The cloud cover makes the night resemble even darker...more ominous.
I cross over to the other side of the street as the signal turns green, looking at the black stub of my umbrella somewhat in amusement mingled with disbelief.
Two months back I would've never bothered carrying around such a thing. Me and an umbrella don't really fit into the same scenario. I have a tendency to lose things too often.
It's almost 8 o'clock and the streets are fast emptying out. All around I glimpse tired faces of people returning from work, eager to get back to the comfort of their homes.
Why am I walking around so aimlessly? In my quest for replenishing the stock of stationery items I seem to have wandered far off from my neighborhood.
Meeting her outside the lab that day was clearly a stroke of bad luck.
Speaking of which.....she can't be working today right?
Of course not. It's much too late for that.
I stop right in front of the mall, hesitate for a moment and then boldly march inside. I've to buy stuff after all.
"I'm NOT here to verify my assumptions. NO."
I've been here so many times since the past two months that even if I were blind right now I would've been able to make my way from the revolving glass doors to the elevator without bumping into a solid object.
As the elevator starts moving upwards I experience a faintly familiar sense of nausea. But then again I don't feel half as uneasy as I used to before.
Not quite out of the blue my phone starts vibrating in my pocket for the third time that evening. Thank god I put it on silent mode otherwise I would've earned myself a few looks of disgust from the those inside this cramped space. My ring-tone is a Nightwish track after all.
"Man...where the heck are you? the beer's flowing in here....stop being such a wimp an......"
I sigh in frustration before interrupting.
"Rahil I'm busy tonight okay?.....I got stuff to do."
"Yeah like what Gaurav? mope over some weird girl who dumped you for a weirder reason?"
"Dude.....you're drunk. And she ain't weird." I say through gritted teeth and disconnect the call.
By the time I'm inside the convenience store...I'm still practicing breathing in and out. I don't swear at the slightest provocation...at least not any longer.
I pass by the numerous shelves of neatly stacked groceries and make way towards the required section a wee bit stealthily.
But of course she can't be...
"Avni..." My voice comes in a hoarse whisper as soon as my eyes confirm her presence.
There she is...at the very last counter at the far end of the section housing lifestyle products, trying to appear as dignified as possible in that ridiculous cap and apron, wearing her best courteous smile....jabbing away at the keyboard keys and handing over the slip to a customer...and proving all my suspicions right.
She looks as energetic as she must have looked in the morning...but I know she is ready to drop down dead on a warm, cosy bed.
Forgetting all about what I needed to buy.....I storm outside, fuming.
---> Part 3 - Catharsis