My evenings suddenly became so lively. She was in for the group study every day and Suresh Ramji’s mobile was put into good use. There was no booster back then so the message costs reflected in his bill, but he didnt mind. Things were going fine and I learnt more about her and girls in general.
The work was going smooth too. Most of the time my friends were in so, it was not really boring in the morning. In the evenings when I was busy texting and drooling in the occasional phone call, they took care of the typing and my other works. This friend of her was Shalini. She occasionally used to send messages after my girl left home. I never bothered to reply. And if its late night, Suresh Ramji would have taken the mobile and gentleman he is, will give the unread messages the next day. I really didnt find any need to talk to her.
Suddenly, one other day, I didnt get the usual evening sms. I was looking at the mobile so long and thought of calling it. I was too shy to do that. But what if?? So I called the number and Shalini answered the call.
“Is she there?”
“She is not feeling well. She did not come today?”
“Nothing. Just headache it seems”
“OK. I will call tomorrow”
“Man! You just called my number and wont even ask about me?”
“Oh Sorry! How are you?”
“I am OK. So you will reply only if she is texting you huh?”
“Not like that. Its not my mobile. My friend takes it home when he leaves”
“See! I’ve been trying to tell you something”
“Do you love her?”
“I thought you wanted to tell something. Now you are asking?”
“You didnt answer me”
“What is it about?”
“OK, I will get to the point. Me, your friend and two other guys are friends from school”
“This guy, Selva is really, madly, sweetly in love with her”
I didnt know what to say. I kept quite. I’ve been calling from a PCO and I had to get back to work. But with what she was saying, I was not sure I will be able to work when I go upstairs.
“Are you there?”
“Yes. Does she know about it?”
“I dont know. But she likes him as well”
“Apparently, she likes me too. Thats why she texts me everyday”
“Thats what we are worried. This Selva has gone mad since he knew she was talking to you. We did our best. But he cannot be consoled”
“None of my business” came to my mind suddenly. But Shalini was a friend. Her friend. I have to maintain my cool. “You can talk to him and make him understand”
“Do you think, I didnt try?”
“What do you want me to do?”
“Just go away”
“We were so happy before you came into picture. The way we used to hangout and the way we used to talk about us. Now all we hear is about you. Nobody in the group likes it”
I took a deep breath. “Shalini! I have to get back to work and at the same time, if your friend says me such things. I will consider. I will continue to talk to her as long as she talks to me and nobody can stop that”
I slammed down the phone and went upstairs. I was sweating even at the November evening. There were thousand things that came into my mind as to what and how I should have replied to Shalini. But then it didnt matter. What am I going to get by hurting her and satisfying my ego. She may come tomorrow and may be I will talk to her about this.
The next day was uneventful as well. I didnt get any texts from her. I didnt want to call Shalini. May be she got a fever. Eventually she will call me.
It was Friday when she called me.
“Hey! How are you? Why no messages?”
“I was not keeping well Prasanna. And what have you done?”
“I dont know. Shalini doesnt give her phone to me anymore. She is saying all that bad things about you”
“I dont know how to tell you”
“Did she tell you that I called her?”
“Yes” her voice was shaky.
“I wanted to talk to you about that”
“So you called here when I was not there” she had a questioning tone in her voice then.
“If I have come, I would have messaged right? Why did you call her?”
“I dont know, I waited for your texts and after one hour I just wanted to know if everything was OK with you”
“And you started hitting at Shalini?”
“Yeah! She told me all the nasty things you told to her. Dont you feel ashamed of yourself?”
“Wait! What did she say?”
“Doesnt matter. What did you say?”
By this time I was so angry at her.
“What do you think I said?”
“You knew Selva and threatened to get him beaten. Didnt you?”
“How the hell?? I am in Tirunelveli”
“You sent someone to know about me. He talked to Selva” I was confused. Mani didnt say a word about this. When the text messages came, he felt happy but I thought the money given to him to see this girl was into the drain.
“Yes!” It was hard to think, the fragile Mani, would have threatened anyone. He may have got beaten but surely not the other way around.
“What are you trying to tell now?”
“My friends always warned me. This internet friendships will not go anywhere. See you have shown your true color”
“See, If i had sent someone to know about you, why should I talk nasty things to your friend? And all these days, have I ever crossed the line with you? Are you not contradicting with yourself”
“I dont know!” she was weeping now. “My friends talked to me so much for this week. Now I have to decide whether its you or my friends”
I listened. I didnt say a word. As they say in American cop serials I was afraid that Anything that is said can be used against me in court of women.
“I choose my friends Prasanna. They are the real ones. When I think about you, you are just a virtual image, I saw once in my computer. I wont be calling you..”
I slammed the phone. I had no mood to work. I wanted to cry but tears never really came out. I wanted to leave that place right now and sit somewhere alone. But I was in middle of my shift.
“Sir! I am from Johns College. I have a project to do” I heard a fragile male voice behind me.
And then I asked for his paper and started to type in. I have to move on.. I have work to do. But I should find Mani first thing in the morning.
For the First Part – Click Here
For the Second Part – Click Here
For the Third Part – Click Here