Friday, September 23, 2011

Part 5 - Contact

For the newcomers, I present to you all parts of the 'You and I' series so far. Read in sequence to understand better -
Part 1 - Distance
Part 2 - Am I stalker now?
Part 3 - Catharsis
Part 4 - Rewind

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There are people in this world, blessed with brains capable of working perfectly in difficult situations without a glitch. You know the kind, who can accomplish the impossible and even talk two people out of starting a fight with one another. Take my mom for instance. She never fails to come up with the most maddeningly reasonable thing to say when I'm opposing her in any way. And I'm left with no other option but to see sense in her statements and comply with her wishes.
Then there are people like me who manage to think of a clever counter-argument only when the debate is over.
It's like my mind has been programmed to stubbornly resist any of my attempts at making it work and obey my orders in times of acute need.
Like now.
I need to study and focus on the pages of this big, fat book full of derivations and definitions and explanations with complicated diagrams. Exams are just a couple of weeks away. But I just can't.
This is not like me. I can concentrate on lectures even when there's a constant buzz of conversations in hushed voices coming from the back benches. And I always thought my brain co-operates with me atleast when I'm trying to get some studying done. Apparently I was jumping to conclusions too soon.

With a sigh, I grab the bottle of water on my table and gulp down several ounces. It doesn't help in any way whatsoever to calm my nerves.
I go over to the window and stare outside into the face of another uneventful and unproductive day coming to an end. Sun going down along the western horizon in the all-too-familiar fashion, kids in my apartment complex screaming 'out...out' in high-pitched voices while playing cricket in the parking lot. And my hormonal, teenage sister blasting Imogen Heap tracks on the pc speakers from the other room.

From my vantage point, I can see the community park. The hint of soft green grass which I know feels like warm velvet on being touched, toddlers in colorful clothing frolicking about, full of childish restlessness...some of them clutching the hands of their grandparents.
Once upon a long time back I must have been one of them. Happy to just hold onto my mom's hand as she walked me back home from the bus-stand excitedly telling her about what happened in school that day.  Unaware of all the unpleasantness found in the world. Unaware of the fact that my parents' marriage was falling apart piece by piece. Unaware of all the hurt and bitterness that my mother was keeping carefully sealed within her heart and maintaining that facade of a smile.
I wish I could be that toddler again and stop being Avni, the girl on the verge of womanhood. I wish I could go back in time. I wish I could unlearn and undo a lot of things.

"I close the door...
Like so many times, so many times before
Felt like a scene on the cutting room floor..
When I let you walk away tonight...."

My phone's sonorous ringtone almost startles me out of my skin.
"Must be Manny..." I grumble to myself.
I have neither memorized nor managed to understand any of the important concepts of the subject I was supposed to be studying. Now how in the world am I going to explain anything to Manasvi when I virtually know nothing?
Reluctantly I reach out for my phone and then stare at the screen for a good many number of seconds. It's not my best friend who's calling.
My heart starts to hammer in my chest so loudly, I can almost hear it myself.
'No way....'
I mouth soundlessly like a goldfish for a while, still gaping at the name that flashes on my screen and then hit the accept button.
"Hello?" I manage somehow.
Silence.
"Gaurav?"
A sharp intake of breath from the other end.
"You didn't delete my number?"
I feel giddy with nervousness and some other unknown feeling. The familiar raspy voice I hadn't heard over the last 6 months is affecting my brain in more ways that I thought it could.
"Why would I?" I manage to say, without betraying any other emotion I hoped.
"Were you expecting me to call you some day?" the voice sounds firm though a bit wary.
"No." I say flatly without thinking too much and realize immediately how unconvincing that must have sounded.
"Your number being in my phone contacts or not...is not that much of a big deal. Now did you just call to check whether or not I recognize your number? 'Cause if you did you're wasting both my time and yours. " I add ruthlessly. I hope against hope that he doesn't realize how breathless I am.
"Are you studying now?" Gaurav asks unfazed and unabashed.
Suddenly I feel irritated.
"Yes. And if you'll excuse me I would like to go back to...."
"You can't concentrate can you?" he interrupts, a hint of amusement in his voice.
Now I am feeling a lot irritated. Since when did my ex-boyfriend turn into a psychic?
"If you're done with your odd inquiries which I wouldn't like to dignify with coherent responses...I'd like to.."
"Come down to your workplace right now." he says abruptly, the words coming out of his mouth like a command of some sort.
My mouth is probably hanging open now. Gaurav never talked to me like he was ordering me around.
"Where?" I blurt out before I can stop myself. Shit! I was supposed to tell him something rude and cut the call and not sound like an obedient slave asking for further instructions.
"You know...your workplace...the bigass convenience store at the mall where they sell consumer goods at exorbitant prices...where you don that stupid looking apron and cap...and wear a fake smile all the time while preparing receipts." he elucidates with vigor as if I was not getting the obvious.
"Why would I go there now? I took a few weeks off." I ask dumbly.
"I know that." he says impatiently and goes on to add "You're going there because you've nothing better to do right now. You don't seem like you're studying and neither am I...besides a mere 30 minute deduction from your daily quota of study hours doesn't seem like that much of a loss does it?"
What is wrong with this person? And more importantly, how does he know I took a break from work?

"Listen here Gaurav....We haven't spoken to each other in nearly 6 months and you're not in a position to give me a call out of the blue and start issuing orders."
"Mhmm...were you keeping track of time since we last spoke?" he asks almost teasingly.
I was about to utter something unkind in response to this but he cuts me off.
"I've something to return to you. So just get yourself down here....it won't take long. I'll be at the store by 6 o'clock. See you then!" he says authoritatively and, to my utter annoyance, disconnects the call.
I sit on my bed for a few moments, clutching the phone tightly with both my hands, still unable to believe in the phone conversation that has just concluded.
Like hell I was going down there to have an awkward meeting with the person I had unceremoniously banished from my life without a proper reason.

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17 comments:

shrutianime said...

I like this!! Hope there's more to come soon~!

Anish said...

This came after a long time.I had to re-read the last chapter to remember what happened. xD

Well this isn't exactly my type of story but having read these 5 parts I am curious to what ultimately happens.Hope the next part(s) come out soon.

Red Handed said...

I sense deep regret and a strange fear in the mind of the girl!
Wonder what comes up next!

Purba said...

Just a few days back I was thinking that's it's been long since I read one of your stories on your blog.

When it comes to penning fiction, you are one of the best.

Prateek said...

Post the next one at your earliest.

Rahul Bhatia said...

A good read!

☆ ayu☆ said...

haha..but i bet she would still go there :)

RE:try watching it! it is really good!! ^^

Nethra said...

Not fair at all. Now, I gotta wait again & I'm already wondering how long this time.

Pulkit said...

The parts are too short for one to be able to judge. One thing I can say for sure is that the quality of writing, irrespective of the story, is consistently good.

Rahul said...

And when is the next part hitting the blogshelves near me???????????:-)

Samadrita said...

@shrutianime: Yes more to come soon indeed. :D keep reading!

@Anish: Ah atleast you're curious. That's enough of a reaction for me. :)

@Red Handed: Yes you recognized it correctly. She has her own set of fears.

@Purba di: Wow I donno what to say to this. But you're very kind. Thanks! :)

@Prateek: Ok ok I will.

Samadrita said...

@Rahul Bhatia: Thanks for reading! :)

@ayu: I bet so too. :D Alright I will watch Iris.

@Nethra: I'll be posting it soon. I promise. :)

@Pulkit: Actually the parts are short coz I wrote them for my blog. If they had to be on paper or in a book they would've been much longer I promise.

@Rahul: Pretty soon. The next post would in all probability be the next part to this.

PeeVee said...

I just went back and read all the parts and I'm waiting to find out what he has to 'give back'. She'll go, of course she will:)

P.S: Suggestion - add a link to the previous parts to the next part.

Quintessence Of Illusion said...

Nice....i wonder what happens next...please write the next part soon :)

Ananya said...

I read all the parts at one go...they're really interesting. I'm waiting for the next part to come up now :)

Meera Sundararajan said...

Interesting.. I just started reading it when it got to me and I read all those different parts- good story.. I am now curious to read more.

Ankit said...

M loving it...the way you have written, i could actually feel the emotions..eagerly waiting for the next chapters.

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