The vibration of my phone woke me up. It was a text from him. I checked the time. “4:42 a.m.” With eyes half open, I opened the text.
I kept the phone aside. He did that often when he couldn’t sleep. He disturbed me. It was his favourite pastime. In another 2 minutes, he was calling.
“Nobody”, the name flashed on the screen.
I took the call.
“Hewoo!”, my words spurt.
“Bitch. Stop sleeping.”
“Yeah. And call up people at 4:44 a.m.”
I heard his guitar playing.
I kept quite.
“Gotta get to me, gotta get to me.
You gotta spread your wings and start flying.
Like a drop of rain, gotta find the way
Don’t hit the brakes, just come and crash through my horizon.
Bring back the air, I need to breathe, baby
And get to me.”
Lady Antebellum. He knew where to hit me. All the time.
“I’ll keep down.”, I said.
“No. I’ve to go to college. I need sleep.”
“I’ll drop you.”
“There’s no need.”
“Saanjh.”, he called my name.
“Fine. You sleep. Bye.”
I kept the call and cried my eyes crimson. Why did he do that? What was the need to call me up and sing to me the song which literally makes my heart ache for him? I knew I couldn’t sleep anymore. I got down from my bed, made some coffee and opened my diary to pen down:
“He called. He sang ‘Get To Me.’ Why did he do that? Why do I still love him so much? Why does he always keep me sane by driving me insane?”
This time, I had made up my mind to stay away from him. I did not want to be the other woman anymore. But he pulled me back just like that. Effortlessly. We met. He flashed his smile. And I lost the battle I had been fighting with me for so long. Every time my cell beeped with his text, I knew I couldn’t reply. Yet my hands typed a reply. All the time. Every time he asked me to meet, I knew I shouldn’t. But I did. Every time he pulled me close and kissed my lips, I knew I had to retract. But I couldn’t. Every time his perfume hit my nose, I knew I should not inhale that right up to my heart. But I did that. Every time he ignored me, I knew I should avoid him. But I couldn’t. He was my pain. But he was my only cure. He was the sunset. And his smile marked the sunrise in my life. His voice sounded like the faded violin string whose sound swept me close to my escape. His eyes had all the convictions that I tried not to believe. His smell had that inescapable numbness that made my heart gasp for breath. My life had become a twisted play of oxymoron. I knew getting close to him will break me apart and I won’t be able to retaliate. Yet I did kiss him every time he gave me that stare.
The trance broke to the sound of his call.
“Going to college?”
“Great. Let’s go watch a movie.”
“Go with your girlfriend.”
“You actually want me to do that?”
“Yeah. She’s your girlfriend. You should call her first when you wake up.”
“You know what I feel for you right?”
“Then stop behaving this reluctant.”
“I’m getting irritated now.”
“Dude! Go and call your girlfriend. Watch movies. Spend some time together. You’ll feel fine.”
“And what will you do?”
“I’ll read some books.”
“I’ll come over.”
“There’s no need.”
And he disconnected the call. Shit! I don’t want to see him early morning in his sweatpants. It hurts me. But he was already out by then.
In another 20 minutes, he was lying down on my bed, as I read out “Lolita” to him.
I lifted my eyes and looked at him. I saw him looking at me intensely. He knew how much pain he caused. But I never blamed him for that. He knew that too. And I guess that is the reason why he still chose to be with me after all the bitterness. I got up after a few minutes and came back with two cups of coffee. I gave him one, sat on the bed, looked deep into his eyes. And that’s exactly when he said,
“I loved you. I was a pentapod monster, but I loved you. I was despicable and brutal, and turpid, and everything, mais je t’aimais, je t’aimais!”
I smiled at him and said,
“It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.”
And we both smiled and whispered,
“And the rest is rust and stardust.”
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