Looking at the phone once every couple of minutes doesn’t quite cause it to ring, I guess. But hope is an inscrutable feeling. Well frankly, it wasn’t such a big deal; even though everything around me seemed to be cajoling me into expectation. I must admit though, that there was a weird feeling in the stomach when the mail arrived. It was official. We were not going. Not today anyway.
Click. Chrome closed. Click. Start menu. Click. Shut down. Click. I am sure.
I first talked to Nisha at around three in the morning. Facebook suggested I add her as a friend since we went to the same school. I did. She pinged me almost immediately. Yeah, it’s not just guys that come fast.
The chat was routine initially – how have you been? Who are you in touch with? Didn’t see you at the last reunion. Do you still stay in the same town? So, are you seeing anyone, huh, huh?. Maybe, they should make a standard notation for that like the asl or something.
Meanwhile, I browsed through her pics. It was just the five she had used for her profile. Five different poses, three different hairstyles, one stupid smile. There was something odd in the fourth one. The left one seemed a touch curvier than the other. I gave it a closer look. She was standing slightly sideways. They did say something about perspective in the graphic arts class.
A like on one of her pics (the fourth one!) and comments of a couple of her likes, and some mild flirting ensued. She was making decent sense while talking. It was not just a bunch of smileys with some words put in for expression. It was going pretty smooth.
And then, I asked her her number. eeks! Had I jumped the gun?
It kept showing ‘Nisha is typing’.
How long could it take to type the damn 10 digits? Or was she coming up with a long ‘fuck you guys’ comment. Suddenly, facebook chat sucked more than it ever had. Like so many other times in life, I didn’t know what to do. I typed something and then backspaced it. Then, I just wrote my own number. Apparently, she was still typing something. I gave out a dry smile.
Just then, the ceiling fan started creaking. And the UPS began beeping. The current had gone and taken the internet connection with it. At four thirty in the morning.
I was almost sure I had blown the chance.
I woke up late next morning. She had left a message, ‘hey sorry my comp got hanged. Btw, I am attending this blogging seminar near your place tomorrow. You think we can meet up after that? Will call you in the evening.’
‘fuck.’ I cancelled on my friends to see inception, and she gives me this? The seminar had been prolonged. She couldn’t make it.
I grabbed my cycle keys and my iPod. Fresh air against my face and loud sounds against my ears. I stopped by at the coffee shop. ‘ek chai.’ The couple sitting on the next couch stared at me. Too loud. I removed the earphones and said it again. In a hushed voice this time.
A cell phone rang. It was the nokia tune. The dude put his hand on his thigh. The chick grabbed her purse. It was mine. They went back to holding each other’s hands.
I hurriedly took out my phone from my pocket. It was a new number….
PS: I wrote this just more than a year ago and already I find myself smiling at my naivety at a couple of lines. A subtle joke suddenly seems a little below the belt, certain grammatical errors that were previously ignored now appear starkly inappropriate! Interesting…