I stood undecidedly in front of the laptop, all the while looking at my phone.
Picking up the phone, I whats app’d a more intelligent friend, “What time is it in dubai now?”
“8.30 in the morning! Like you dont know by now!?!”
A boring, sulky, sad monday morning with nothing to look forward to. Except this. SO I continued to look at the phone and the laptop. I could picture him carrying his bag and walking over to his car. His sleek, white, automatic car. The one that stole his heart before me:). He would then put his bag in the boot, get on to the driver seat, say a little prayer and get on the road. I could picture this clearly.
I dialed the number. “beep beep beep…”
My phone acts very weird when I call ISD. I knew it. That’s why I never call him when I most want to speak to him. Its the surest way I wouldn’t! We generally seem to talk about the weather. About the apartment he has, the work going on at my house..about the traffic and his car. About his flat mates. About his work. Mine too. About family. Or maybe just about how his day and mine…
Today its different. Probably because for a few days now, I am so used to seeing him next to me, I cant even get the timings right. I am so used to not having to ping him all the time on whats app coz he was with me that I cant seem to remember our routines online! I was so used to hearing him speak to me directly that I seem to have forgotten how he sounds on the phone. I tried again. I was subject to the same monotonous voice that would have repeated the same lines a hundred thousand times, the same monotonous voice that will repeat the same lines a hundred thousand times…
I think, the last time before he left, during some conversation, he told me to leave a message in case his phone is busy or if he didnt pick up. He was always a busy man. I like it that way. It kinda gives me the feeling that he wont have time to think and feel bad! Its partly the ridiculousness of talking to a machine… its partly, “What message do I leave?”. I never call him up to talk a specific topic…I call him to… I just call him…sometimes to say that I miss him, sometimes to just hear him and sometimes just for those stolen moments…
Walking out to the balcony, watching the sun scorn at the earth, I wondered if it would be like this there too. Hot. I knew it would be. I know. I walked. I took my phone and walked. I didnt want to walk but I had to coz I coukdnt just sit there. I learnt that day that I could not decide on a topic and think about it while I was walking. I was supposed to think of all the happy times we’d shared. Instead I found myself thinking how much life’s changed since the last time we’d been with each other.
I must have walked a good 20 minutes, before another wave of lets-try-once-more hit me. I whats app’d my intelligent friend again. “What time is it in Gulf now?”
“9.00 in the morning. Whats with you? Why you obsessed with the timing in gulf now? And why on earth you acting like you dont know! Its been just a few hours since you returned, you crazy crazy woman!”
I dial. Once again. Last time. I promise.
I was holding the phone tight, “Please let it ring…”
I was surprised when it did. And then, cut! The rich guy or rather the stingy guy! He hated me spending money on calling him. Oh well, he called back. He always did. Short, simple string of words. People wouldn’t believe it, but we were always stingy with words. Either he talked and I listened or I talked and he listened. It was hardly ever a dialogue.I talk to him. I tell him to have a great day. He says something again.… A few seconds later, when I feel bad about him wasting money on my call, I say a hurried bye and press the disconnect button with my finger… I could hear the eerie sound one has to hear while the call gets disconnected, when I say “I miss you already….”