Where on earth can you find true happiness? A place called nowhere exists inside your heart where all your happy moments reside. You don’t have to search or discover it. Just hold your breath, follow your heartbeat and feel it.
She willed herself not to check her phone to see if he had replied. It’s been about three days now yet she couldn’t stop herself.. She hated that she was constantly checking his ‘last seen at’ status and yes, he had logged in just five minutes ago. This sinking feeling to find absolutely no communication from him was becoming unbearable, almost torturous.
And then, just as she sat down on the chair, her phone vibrated. With her heart thudding in her ear, she unlocked her phone and stared at the screen. Finally! It was his message.
But when she opened it and read it, she nearly stopped breathing. She didn’t know if he was joking or not. What was that?
Raj: Khushi, I’m coming Kolkata day after tomorrow. Hope you’ll make time to meet me.
She was still in the shock. It was beyond her imagination that he would give such a reply to her message. She somehow balanced her mental and emotional state and typed her reply.
Khushi: I’ll try my level best to make it up to you. But you see my internals are on and I won’t be able to go to Kolkata.
Her heart was beating really fast and for a moment she thought- what if he cancels the plan but then she made her heart strong and sent the message. Raj was online but he didn’t reply for ten minutes. Her heart started sinking and she regretted her reply. She took a sip of water when her phone vibrated again. She quickly unlocked it and read his message.
Raj: It won’t be a problem Khushi. I’ll be coming to your college. It’s in Kolaghat right. I guess I will manage somehow to find my way and the rest I rely on the Google map.
She locked her phone and threw it on the bed. This wasn’t going well for her. Just when she decided not to think about him anymore (not to mention she still checked his last seen and all continuously) he was coming to throw her a visit. She finally has to go through the moment she was avoiding all this time. That night she couldn’t sleep well. All she could think was about their meeting.
She woke up late next day. It was 1’o clock in the afternoon. She had decided to wake up early in the morning and start with her courses but that was screwed. To make up the time she quickly took her bath. She had already messed up with her afternoon meal so, without wasting her time she started with her studies.
Cloud computing was the subject she had to sit for the internals next day but all she could think was about her meeting with Raj. He really did occupy her mind. Only way she could think to get out of this fuss was to share it with Riya. Well Riya was her best friend since day one in the college. They shared all their secrets with each other and they had solutions for each other’s problems too. Well not to mention only Riya knew about Raj.
Riya was sleeping on her cloud computing book when she entered her room.
“Riya! Wake up. I need to tell you something.” She said jerking Riya’s arms and waking her up.
“Are you nuts. It felt as if someone threw me into a huge well. What has happened to you?” Riya said with a look of disgust in her face.
“Raj happened to me. He’s coming tomorrow.” Khushi said in an anxious tone.
“What? But why is he coming here? I thought you did have that meeting while you were at home. Didn’t you?” there was suspicion in her voice. “You promised me and again avoided it.” Suspicion was now replaced with anger.
“Yes. I avoided it and you know the reason. Three days back I messaged him that I want him to know about the person I’ve been waiting for all this time. But he didn’t reply and now he’s coming here and there’s no more hiding.” Nervousness was obvious in her voice. “I don’t know what to do. I’m just so much confused.”
“Listen Khushi, You can’t just avoid this forever.” Riya took her hands and looked into her eyes. “You know what you have to do. Now go and get something about clouds in your head.” She knew there was no escape out of it so she nodded her head in agreement.
Two years back……
She was expecting a call from Raj. They had agreed for a meeting to celebrate her homecoming. She had to return to her college next day and they had planned an evening out together. She was pretty confused what to wear for the occasion though it was just a casual meeting over a coffee. She was really excited to meet him after one long year. How often she wished to see him just for once but Kolkata was still a little bit far from Ranchi.
She was actually a bit frustrated that Raj was least bothered to even give her a call. For a moment she thought that he has forgotten about their meeting. But then she convinced herself that he must have been busy doing his classes so he couldn’t manage to call. She took a quick shower and put on her denim jeans and favorite t-shirt. She checked herself thrice before leaving the house.
Sometimes what you feel for a person can’t be defined in words. She never wished Raj to be her boyfriend but at the same time he was more than her friend. She felt great when he cared for her and jealous when he did that for other girls. She was nervous when everyone said that he was going to propose the love of his life and sad when it turned out to be someone else. And now, even after 3yrs of that truth, she felt exactly the same way. Her heart still quickens and she forgets to breathe when she looks into his eyes. Even after knowing the truth that he’ll never understand her feelings and she’ll never be able to make him understand, she was there waiting for him inside the café.
She was repeatedly dialing his number but every time got the same voice of a lady saying “The number you’ve called is not responding.” It was getting into her nerves but still she sat there waiting for him to come. Waiter came thrice for the order and every time she said later, he gave her a disgusting look. She sat there for two hours and to avoid the disgust she ordered coffee after every twenty to thirty minutes. She almost finished her third coffee and tried to call him a thousand times. It felt really weird to sit there alone in the café and the thought that how stupid she might look to other customers lingered in her head. People came and left but she sat there waiting. Her patience wanted to give up but heart didn’t allow her. She wanted to see his face once and talk to him before returning back to college.
After 2 n a half hours of waiting, she finally realized that it was nothing more than fooling oneself. She should’ve never waited for him and it was about time to stop making herself pathetic. She paid the bill and left. She had just stepped out of the café when it started drizzling.
Like the rain drops falling from the sky all her feelings and emotions flowed out of her heart. She could take no more. She didn’t know what was happening. She realized what she should have, a long time ago. She understood that it was her waiting, not that he was to come. Suddenly she felt as if all her happiness had been taken away. Those raindrops felt like fire balls pouring down the sky, burning every inch of her skin. The person for whom she had waited and was waiting all those years had already been snatched from her and all she could do was to behave cruel enough to accept the truth. She wanted to cry but couldn’t. She wanted to tell Raj how it felt to wait for someone, that she loved him more than anyone could ever love him.
The cell phone started ringing in her hand and it was his call. She wanted to pick up the call and ask him the reason but deep inside her heart something stopped her. Her hands felt numb and lifeless, she could feel the pain but couldn’t express it. At that moment she decided to finally accept the truth. From that day on wards she hated rain.
When she reached home she took out her diary from the self and wrote how she felt that day and what she had decided for the future.
So basically what she had planned was to ask him for a date and tell him everything that was in her mind. But things were really complicated. Every time she tried to call him, something stopped her. Since then she invited Raj but every time she cancelled it hoping that it shouldn’t come that soon.
But since he was coming to meet her she couldn’t avoid. She knew that she has to meet him the next day so all she could do was to wait for him a last and final time. Neither did she study that night nor slept. All she could do was a final waiting.
Her cell phone buzzed waking her up. It was a message from Raj.
Raj: I’ve reached Howrah. Will be there soon….
Another message popped up.
Raj: All the best for your internals….
She checked the time which was 8:12 am. Tossing the cell phone aside she stepped out from her bed. Her exams were from 9:00 am to 10:00 am and at approximately 10:00 am – 10:30 am Raj would be there. This thought was haunting her like hell.
All through the exam only one thought lingered in her head and it was the words she had to tell him that day. It was so tormenting that she couldn’t answer any of the questions. Without wasting any more time she left the examination room.
Standing by the Jheel, situated inside the college campus she remembered how she had once been so much in love with Raj. By far Jheel side was the only place that made her feel closer to him because he once told her how much he loved river side.
Suddenly someone tapped her from behind. She turned back to find Raj standing there with the same smile on his face which always forced her smile back however sad she was.
“Hey! Khushi…it’s nice to see you after a long time.” He said flashing a brightest smile.
“Oh…Hello Raj…How did you find me?” she asked. “I’m the man you see. I just managed to find you.” He was still smiling. “So, tell me. Why were you avoiding this meeting?” he asked. “I mean you asked me for this date and cancelled it every time. But since we are here let’s get done with it.”
“Yes…I guess I have to.” She didn’t know how to say it.
“Let’s go to CCD. I saw one on my way to your college.” He asked.
“No…This place is ok. We can talk here.” She didn’t want to waste anymore time.
“Raj, do you remember 6 months back we’re going to meet at the Capitol Hill restaurant? I waited there for two n a half hour but you didn’t come. I realized that day how stupid I was to wait.
The friend for whom I waited all these years, no more exists. I lost him the day I fell in love with him. And the person I fell in love was lost the day he chose someone else over me.” Drops of tears fell from her eyes. “So I want to tell you that this is our last meeting. I wish to let go of you and move on. No doubt you are my first love and will always be but I just want to keep you as a happy moment of my life. So I bid you my farewell here.” She wiped her tears and forced a smile on her face.
Raj stood there as if all his words were lost in some infinity and all he could do was to stand there and listen to her. He shook her hand in a trance mode.
She took out a diary from her bag. “This is something I want to give you. I don’t think I can ever be able to get rid of this.” She handed it over to him. “I want you to take it away with you. It belongs with you and you should keep it. Just take it as a parting gift.”
“What’s in it?” he asked looking straight into her eyes.
“It’s my memories of you. I wrote it the day I first saw you till today when I’m finally leaving you. But now on wards I don’t want to write another word for you. This has to end here.” There was pain in her eyes but at the same time he saw the freedom in them. Freedom from the waiting she had been going through all those years. She left, leaving him behind with her dairy and all he could do was to watch her move on.
Raj opened the dairy to find all her poems in it which was dedicated to him. There was pain in his eyes. He took out a pen from his pocket and wrote his first letter to her in that diary which was yet unfinished.
“I know now Khushi, how it feels when you wait for someone but that someone never comes. I didn’t come that day because my brother had met with an accident. While you were waiting there for me, I was waiting outside the I.C.U for my brother’s life. I really wanted to come but my lucky star betrayed me. You never asked for an explanation and I never told you. I knew how important you are for me the day you went far from me but at the same time I was bound with a promise I gave to Sneha. But today I came here to tell you how much I love you, breaking all the promises but again my lucky star played its trick. Though you wish to move on I don’t think I will be able to do the same. I guess this is what I deserve. I won’t stop you because I know how much pain I have given you. Today your waiting stops here and mine begins.”