“Don’t get addicted to me.” Akriti replied to an Instagram story of Debu which was about them. “Why, planning to leave?” asked Debu. “No. But addictions are bad anyway”, replied Akriti. It’s almost a month of knowing each other now; they both have shared a lot of good talks together. They were very eager to meet each other now. “At the level of craziness we operate at, I really want our first meet to be dramatic.”
She used to say this to Debu, and always amused by this line, he used to reply “you never know.” Sparks were in the air as they both were able to tolerate each other and actually spend time talking to each other with how their day was or what did they do when they were not talking technically. Debu loved a habit of her the most, when they used to talk he always asked her about her day to which she would tell every major detail so calmly and taking her time that she would continuously speak for 10 or more minutes in reply of that very question.
Debu loved her voice and moreover the fact of being lucky enough that she has started to be comfortable with him such that she can speak about her so easily in front of him. He knew her best friend, her love for art, crafts and literature, much about her pet dog and her ex-boyfriend. Well the last one is certainly abrupt in the list but as a matter of fact was important. After all, every fairy tale needs a good old-fashioned villain.
Akriti had a break up only a month before meeting Debu about which she opened up recently when Debu inquired about why she never accepts the love he has to offer. She wanted Debu to understand that she needed time to get over the past, and probably can’t commit anything so early. He was fine about it, he knew if the way he feels for her is true in its purest form then, nothing of past matters as far as it doesn’t haunt her future. All was well, till one fine night. Debu as a routine nowadays called her before dinner, her phone was busy. Then he tried around 11 pm, it was busy again. No text in between too. This was unusual, and he got worried about what’s it. He dropped a text of replying as free and kept the phone aside. She replied around 1 am, “I am fine, my ex called today. I will talk to you tomorrow, good night.” “Is she kidding me? I am waiting for 5 hours for this? What in the world happened?” to have the answers he called her immediately. She didn’t pick up in first two attempts but she did in the third. “Hello! Hello! Akriti, where are you? Hello!” said Debu as the call was picked. He didn’t hear a word in return but he overheard a sob which she was trying very hard to hide.
It was the first time ever he was witnessing her new lady-love sad and it felt like all the sorrow in this world was just conveyed to him with a single sob. He tried to tell her not to cry, but she pulled all of her strength and said, “Can we talk tomorrow please?” He hung up the phone and texted her a long message about at least telling him what exactly did that guy say to her, to which she insisted he didn’t say anything wrong, he was just missing her and was talking about how beautiful it was when they were together and want her back, to which she replied it can’t be possible. “Then what’s the problem? You replied what you had to and I am proud of it. Why are you crying for it, don’t you think you should be happy for being strong enough?” He tried to lighten up her mood. She replied, “Maybe tears don’t always come because of our pain, but sometimes we just break down seeing someone else in pain that we have loved for a long time.”
Debu didn’t reply after that message, he couldn’t sleep all night either. All he could hear was her sob; it was the worst thing happened to him lately. Its human nature, when something we never expect happens, it brings extreme sorrow to us, however the levels of atrocities which follow differ. He decided to do what he always had avoided before. He never took interest in her past and never judged it, but this time he wanted to. He wanted to tell her that if she knows that she can’t go back to that person then she should stop being in love with the memories and move on, else the wound would go green every time she has to face him. He knew it will just keep killing her inside. He also knew that saying all that could only show him as one desperate chap. In spite of all that negative impact, he tried. He tried because somewhere in his heart he was confident, say it 1% but he wished she listens to him. He didn’t realize how that night broke to dawn. It was morning, he wanted to call her himself but he didn’t. He dropped a text instead to call him, as free.
Akriti got free from her posting early that day. It was a windy afternoon, when he got a call from her. The conversation started from usual things. He asked her how she was, he knew the answer but maybe he wanted to hear her voice like never before. He asked her to smile first of all, and then asked whether she wants to go back to her ex, to which she said a clear no. He then told her all those things about a break up we usually end up learning ourselves. He urged her to unlearn the fact that she fell for anybody. He told her that nothing in this world should affect her mental peace. And he said if it happened she has to let it go. Maybe it can’t happen overnight but she had to start. Maybe he wanted to pull the heaven wrapped up in hell with all his might because he never wanted her to cry. Yes he ‘expected’ something from her for the first time. It wasn’t her love for him, but it was her smile. He also shared his deep secrets with her too, how he managed to let go of his first love. She was hearing every bit of it, quietly like an ocean awaits a storm. He hung up with faith in her.
She texted just after the call “Do you know what happens when you wind a burning coal? Never do it.”
He laughed. He couldn’t understand what she meant quite literally but he figured out that he made her more upset. Maybe he should have given more time to her. How long was the question? He learnt in life that as a human, you are blessed and cursed with two important things. You can celebrate alone if a situation comes, but you can never really suffer alone. The suffering continued for long alone ends up killing the best in people. People who think of some phase of life as the dark side of the moon really suffer a lot. But if you shine like the sun, sharing your good or bad light with the universe around, you even burn with pride. That’s what he wanted to convey her that day that no matter how hard times get like a separation, debts, a loss, or any other suffering. There should be someone who as a human you can entrust all your sufferings with. To whom you can share all your pain. He thought she would understand maybe some of it and stop killing herself with those thoughts which are a memory now. Maybe she would share it with anyone, not a person then literature maybe. She can write it all up and clear the mess in her head. All he wanted was her to be that jolly of a person again which he felt he lost that night. People who know you well, are capable of knowing whether a person is really happy or faking it.
Debu never called or messaged her again. She never did too. Maybe the fact that he hurt the person in the same way he never wanted to get hurt like kept him from contacting her. And she understood everything that Debu wanted to say that day but thought, “Maybe we both were right but the time was not.”