He woke up with a sudden start! He glanced at the bedside table. The clock showed 11:17 a.m. He looked back at the pillow. It was completely drenched with sweat in spite of the air conditioning. It was the third time in the past two weeks and every time it was the same. He dreamt about her and woke up from it like a bad nightmare even though it was not. He didn’t remember when he had slept nor did he know what day it was. He just knew he hadn’t slept for three days before that. With a small groan he decreased the desired temperature of the A.C. and buried his head in his hands…


He met her through a mutual friend. He had just started at his new job then. He was dumbstruck at first sight. She knocked the wind out of him with those eyes of hers! Big, shiny and expressive… Striking personality, sparkling smile; she had it all! She was the most perfect girl he had ever seen.
From mails to chat and then to phone numbers; everything happened at its own pace in six months. He didn’t know when it had happened (actually he knew but never wanted to admit it). But it was there, staring him in the face. He had fallen in love! But he was too afraid to admit. They were just friends now!… But his actions spoke out loud for him. Too loud. Finally he gathered the courage to ask her out on a ‘friendly date’. Her “yes” had been the best thing he had ever heard from anyone…

Four short meetings was all that he could manage in a month. In a year came his promotion and then his transfer. He was broken. He couldn’t dream of staying away from her! She had just started liking him! But then he was helpless before fate… He had to go…


He didn’t know when it had started. First three weeks on the new job were fine. New people, new office, new apartment and a new reason to live; he had it all. But then the long-distance phone conversations stopped. She didn’t pick his calls or reply to his texts properly. He knew she had her own life to be involved in. But even then he found himself slipping. He was going crazy. Like a drug addict he was hooked to her. Every day she didn’t talk to him introduced half a dozen cigarettes into the next day.

On one of those rare days when they did talk, she let a one liner slip into their conversation “out of sight, out of mind”. That was it! He snapped like a dry branch and his bits and pieces scattered out of reach. He spent days replaying those four wonderful meetings and nights went by with him imagining how it would have been had he stayed back with her. His colleagues were shocked to find him sleeping on the job. He looked like a wreck with his dark circles and his unkempt beard. He even shaved off his head. “It is too hot around here”, he would say when anyone asked him the reason behind it.

After a month the pains started. The doctors said it was psychological. Yet it killed him every-time. No matter where he was, shower, kitchen, restaurant or in the middle of a street, the moment a particular memory of hers shot into his mind, his chest would explode with blinding pain, his heart would feel like someone has clutched it tight. Everything would become black for a few seconds and his legs would become jelly and give away. “Breathless and then dead” that’s how he described it to his psychiatrist. All those shrinks and quacks asked him to be strong. Move on even. But his face would remain expressionless at their words. “Idiots”, he would say to himself and wander off. He didn’t sleep for days and when he slept it was impossible to wake up. He had just one meal everyday. Food didn’t interest anymore. His throat remained dry constantly. Water, milk, coke or whiskey, he drank whatever he got and whenever he got it. Then he started seeing her. It was never real or too solid. But at times he would glance over his shoulder and catch a glimpse of her before it vanished. And then again his chest would explode with blinding pain. But then on some days in between she would pick up his call or call him from her side or just plainly send him a “good morning dear 🙂 :)” text and he would become normal for 4-5 days…


He had a project report to submit. The company was threatening to throw him out if his performance didn’t improve. But he hadn’t talked to her for almost a week now… He was having the attacks again. They had talked so well the week before that! She sounded just like music to his ears. But she hadn’t been picking his calls since the past five days. Half of the time her phone stayed switched off.

He entered his apartment and slammed the door shut behind him. Throwing his laptop on the sofa he fumbled in the cupboard for his packet of Insignia. He lit one and went out to the balcony cigarette in hand. As he looked at the city and its never ending lights he felt his eyes stinging in the night air. He broke down crying… wailing like a little child… The cigarette rolled off between his fingers and fell down into the busy street below.
“Enough is enough” he said to himself and went into the bedroom. He grabbed the bottle of sleeping pills and went to the living room. As he sat down on the sofa, he felt an odd calm passing over him. He kept the bottle in front of him and took out his cellphone. He pressed 9.

One ring… Two rings… Five… He was losing hope fast when suddenly “Hello” crackled over the speaker!!! “How are you? Where have you been?” he felt relieved as the words stumbled out of his mouth. “I’m so sorry sweetheart”, she said,”I’ve been a little off for some days now… Not feeling too well emotionally… Sorry for not telling you…” “Hey it’s okay! What happened though?” he asked highly concerned. “I’ll tell you about it later… I’m choreographing a dance for some of my friends now… I’ll talk to you later.”

He stared at the phone for the next five minutes and then at the sleeping pills. He slowly got up and walked into the kitchen to make himself dinner.

He was all right. For the next some days at least…


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