August 17, 2018 (The Workstation)
I have just reached the office. It’s almost 11:00 in my newly bought Huawei NOVA 3i smartphone. Today’s morning was just so beautiful than previous ones; I am expecting good things to happen and have a productive day at my office.
But, just after moments, I get to know that my boss is not so happy; as usual shit. I and my colleague, both were on leave yesterday leaving no one in our department. As I am having my college examinations running, I have to be at the office on alternate days.
My boss has a pile of works allocated for me with today’s deadline, my colleague happily notified me whom I even don’t want to face as he is one of the reasons for my boss to be mad at me. It’s already 11:00 till I get to know all these displeasing things and log in my goddamn slow as hell laptop. I open my outlook mail; and there it is, so many emails as beautiful gifts waiting for me to get clicked and get replied. I am displeased even more.
With all the courage, I start by continuing the leftovers from the last day and queuing up the new tasks assigned for me. Then and there, Skype pops up a notification banner at the top right corner “David is calling”.
Let me make you familiar with David first.
9 years ago (The Past)
Our chemistry lab session was ongoing. He had become my friend for just a week. No wonder, he was standing beside me in the lab.
All of a sudden, he whispered in my ear, “I love you”. He was such a crazy guy. I had nothing to reply him rather than saying “Just one week has passed since we started talking. Are you mad?”
“Yes! I’m going mad because of you.” He said with a big smile.
“You can take time. 5 minutes from now.” He added with a crazy laugh.
He was a smart guy in the class. But, when it was between him and me, he was always a crazy and mischievous one.
Things happened. Now, David is in the USA for his higher studies and I am here in Nepal struggling with my life. We came across a big argument a few weeks ago and since then, he was out of contact.
The Skype Call
And today, out of the blue, he calls me on skype.
Just his name on my laptop screen makes me forget all those pending tasks. I ignore them all and pick up the call hastily.
But we cannot utter a single word. There’s this awkward silence between us.
He turns on his video. I do too.
He just sends me a smile. So do I.
I know he is drunk. He knows that I know.
He always calls me when he is drunk. He says that he doesn’t get the courage to talk to me when he is sober. But, when he drinks, I don’t know how that alcoholic beverage supports him to talk to me, how it helps him to push all that he has in his heart up to his throat.
After a few seconds of that awkward pause,
He: Hi! How’s it going?
Me: Fine. I have my exams running.
How rude. He even didn’t ask me how my exams are going. That’s how much arrogant he is. Still, that doesn’t bother me at all.
I flash the same new smartphone of mine in front of the webcam.
He: Not a good choice.
He never likes my choices. He always has a better option than the one I opt. And, when it comes to gadgets, the one I buy makes him feel like I am just a kid. Somehow true though.
He: Don’t get things that you will regret in just a few months.
Me: Please don’t complain. I love it.
There starts this pause again. I don’t have anything to show him or talk about to him. He might not have as well. But, as he is drunk at the moment, I know he won’t stop. He will at least make things up and talk.
He: I miss you.
Me: Until you get someone there.
He: It’s not someone. It’s you; always you. I love you.
I keep silent. I do not talk about anything. I just turn away from the webcam to hide from him.
He: So, you are happy with him?
Me: Yes, I am.
He: You can’t.
Me: (after a pause) At least I am trying to be after all the shit I have been through.
He: (smirks) No, you aren’t. You can lie to him; you can lie to the world, but not me. I know you. You cannot be happy with someone other than me.
“What do you think about yourself? who do you think you are? You think I cannot be happy without you? I cannot live without you? If you think so, you are wrong. I’ll show you.” This was what I wanted to say to him on his face but then…
My colleague screams from the next cabin, “Smriti, the boss is calling for the meeting. Let’s go.” Perfect timing of my perfect boss. This is what I like about him; perfect timings.
The Skype Chat
I hurriedly disconnect the call and text him.
Me: Have to go to the meeting. I will call you after 30 min.
He: (instantly replies) Half an hour is like a lifetime. There are a lot of things I need to say and a lot of emotions I need to express today.
Me: Ok! I will call you after 15 minutes.
I grab my diary and a pen, the same one, with which I used to try writing poems about our relationship when I used to miss him so badly before. He was still typing on the skype chat box.
He: (continues) Is it that much important to go for the meeting right now?”
Me: Come on. I work for someone. It’s not my home. Won’t you give us 15 minutes?
This time I become quite irritated as he’s not understanding my situation.
He: (smirks) There is no ‘US’ anymore. There is ‘You’ and ‘Me’. You have broken that ‘US’ thing already; don’t you remember?
Me: Just wait till I come back after this meeting.
Saying this, I go offline. I delete the chat history; just close the laptop lid and proceed for the meeting.
I get totally disturbed at the meeting. I am there in front of my boss getting complaints and more tasks list to do. But I feel like David is there and he is saying, “Baby, I tried a lot. I tried smiling without you. I tried to be happy without you. But, couldn’t. Now, I have realized, it’s you; only you. Let’s forget all those hard times we went through. Let’s ignore the goddamn past and start all of it once again. I promise, I won’t screw up this time; I won’t ruin. Please get back to me, please.”
All of a sudden, I get back to the reality with the commanding voice of my boss who is just in front of me making the straight eye contact.
Boss: Smriti! Could you please note down the things I have told you? I don’t want you to ask me for mail after leaving this room.
Me: Ye…ye…yes sir. I am on it.
While jotting down the things he said, I get this scary feeling inside; I am afraid about the time because he is waiting for me on skype. What if it’s already 15 minutes and he goes off leaving no next conversation date? My heart says that he will wait while my mind says that he won’t.
Boss: Let’s dismiss for today.
That moment is something like getting out of the jail. I get out of the meeting room in haste, take out the phone from my pocket. Damn! the thing that I don’t want to happen, happened. It has already crossed 20 minutes.
I run towards my workstation hoping that my heart wins today. I just throw the diary and pen on my desk, open the laptop and then the skype.
I see an unread message and it was from David. But he was already offline. With a very heavy heart, I opened his message….
“It was very hard for me to call you. I thought a lot before calling. You know I don’t get the courage to talk to you every time. Still, I had managed today thinking I would express what is left behind. I wanted to say a lot of things. But I guess I can never do it. I will just forget it instead. I think it’s better this way. From now on, I will try not to contact you even when I am drunk. If I do by mistake, just ignore it thinking that somewhere an alcoholic guy is throwing bluff calls. Whoever you are with or whoever you will be with, be happy always. Work hard at the office. Don’t let your boss get disappointed; don’t hate him too much, you know bosses are always right. Good luck and goodbye.”
While I read the message, he had left for me, a teardrop comes out of my eye, rolls through my cheek and fall on my hand. With its touch, I get to know, it’s his love, which is staying there inside me for years. Today is the last day for it. Now, like I just cannot put the teardrop back in my eyes, I cannot put his love back into me. So, I just wipe it out completely.
I desperately wanted to hear what he had to say but alas…
I pick up the same pen, turn the middle page of the same diary and start writing “Things I never got to hear before goodbye….”
Author: Bivusha Karki
By profession, Ms. Karki is a Network Engineer at Prabhu Digital, Nepal. She likes to read and write fictional stories sparing some time from her job that includes endless networks, routes, traces, ping and blah blah blah!!!
Tons of thanks to her for sharing the story with poondiaries 🙂