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A Short Story.
It was the lunch hour in office and all close friends started having their lunch around a common cafeteria table. I realized one of my friends, Aditi was not there and asked others about where she was. “At the call center”, one of my friends replied. She was busy on phone at an aliened corner of the cafeteria. We were about to finish our lunch when she opened her lunchbox at the place she was sitting. One of us approached her and advised to get her food warmed in the microwave. But she just signaled by her hand that she was ok having like that. Afterwards, some of us went for smoking, some started spending time before the big washroom mirror and rest of us kept on chatting with self-served tea/coffee. As the time went over, all of us started moving up to the production floor and then Aditi seemed to wind up her session. She was the last to come to her desk among all of us. Within a 15 minutes, she was again busy on text chatting. Despite this part of her life, she was a smart employee of our company one of the achievers and a good friend of many.
In a few days, this was the usual stuff for all of us. However, on one day she joined us back for lunch. Though her mood was a little frustrated she tried to join us in talks and showed her unnecessarily carefree. Her phone rang, but she did not pick. When the phone rang again, some of us amused, “do pick it yaar, he must be dying to hear you.” She picked and rudely responded, “I am having my lunch. Will talk later”. After some time, she looked focused at work and texts were coming one after another though she was not typing replies this day. At around 4 PM she walked out with her phone and when she returned to her desk she looked quite relaxed…smiling inside. Back in her form she finished the day’s job and left. Back to her business on phone as usual.
Another unusual event happened when we noticed she had kept her phone aside and sighing over something. This was the time all of us wanted to question her phone business. “Did he make you cry?” asked one of the friends. “Leave him dear, we are here”, Come on, Cheer up!” others added. She was made to join us for lunch. In the after lunch chats she was asked for the reason of her trouble. “He seems not to care about me. He was busy with his friends last Sunday and when I called he said he was busy. Don’t I leave my friends to be with him, but he…”, she said again in a crying mood. One straightforward man among us said, “This must be an STD love. Yes or no?”. “ Where is he from?” asked another girl. “In Bangalore”, she replied. The straightforward man felt a triumph and added “I knew this. This happens with all people who fall in STD love.” “You don’t meet him on Sundays so it’s obvious he would go with his friends and keep you waiting. And this is just the beginning, I won’t be surprised if he finds a local girl at your place in some days.”
Some console her and asked her to be patient but the talks about distant relationships dominated our usual chat time. We talked about the hardships. As the couple don’t get to meet everyday, phone bills act like picking their pockets. Online gifting services go rich by charging double prize for delivery of orders as these people celebrate Christmas to valentine and Diwali to Holi with these gifts. "The base point is you need to have complete trust on your partner in this type of relation." "But what if the partner takes an advantage of your trust and plays with your feelings." thoughts were put. Aditi’s phone was accumulating missed calls while she was engaged in judging her relationship’s cons with our talks.
“But, anyways I feel distant relations are really beautiful. You know pigeon carrying over your messages and all the romantic moments you feel when you are busy with your imaginations” a girl put. “Innocent girls, you don’t realize that the other person can be a cheat” contradictory thought arrived. “I saw a TV show in which a person asked his partner to send him her pictures and misused those pictures later”. “There is no meter to judge the commitment of a man”. “Even girls cheat boys”, angry male community protector spoke, “in fact girls are more in this. They have innocent image that can be used to cheat boys easily. Even boys don’t know how to judge a girl’s commitment”. The lunch hour was over and all were moving to their desks back. But girls kept on adding, “No, No. boys are more likely to ditch girls. They pass time with girls and don’t feel any genuine commitment”. “False! This is what girls do” a boy.
The whole second half of work was a reconciliation session for Aditi. She kept evaluating her relationship’s pros and cons. “Is my partner’s commitment false? Should I break up or wait till he breaks up. How deeper am I in now” “Should I judge his commitment in a kind of Emotional Atyachar?" "It is quite possible he has found another partner with whom he was busy spending his weekend. May be these are the indications he is giving me to understand he wants to break up. Or maybe he has lost charm in me. There are more beautiful girls than I. Should I have accepted the proposal of any other boy from the same city?” She also noticed that in the last three hours there was no call or text from her partner. And the day passed.
Like everyone she signed out and moved to the cab area. Her phone was called at this moment but as she had kept it on silent she could not pick. She got in the cab and started waiting for it to move. She was feeling like she had learned an important lesson from that day. She had to plan her life again and in an even better way. Finally, the cab moved. Suddenly, she realized that his partner was standing outside the gate trying to make a call. She checked her phone and saw 15 missed calls with a few texts. She picked the next call, the voice same, “I am here at the exit gate of your office please come”. Aditi filled with joy while a bit of herself was still saying that was not the right man for her. She got down with a pretending to be angry face, “I don’t love you” she said. The man opened door of a taxi he had kept waiting and both of them were driven to nearby CCD.
The man explained, “I did extra work this weekend so that I could come and surprise you today. I did a half day work and left for airport. I was in flight so made no call or text for some three hours and rushed to this place to catch you before you could leave.” He went ahead to present Aditi with a rose and engagement ring by saying, “Do you remember, two years back we had met on the same day. Its 7th May today.. My luckiest day and… I want this day to be even-more-lucky for me by making it our Engagement day… Will you please marry me Aditi?”
Aditi’s heart was filled. She was just an idiot to doubt her STD love.