The sun shone way too brightly and everything seemed to hurt. Aahh! I had just broken my this year’s resolution, I had drunk like crazy yet again and it was one of those painful hangovers I was experiencing. I looked for my cell-phone, it was switched off. I guess, I didn’t create a ruckus again by calling up Shwetank, my once upon a time ex I’d still not got over of. I switched it on only to find out that it was already nine and I had just thirty min to freshen up, get ready and reach office. Holy shit! This was totally impossible. I ran out of my bed and brushed my teeth. I looked at myself, I was still dressed in last night’s attire. I grabbed an overcoat lying on my bed and wore my boots, locked the door just to catch the cab on time.
Inside, everyone greeted me with a good morning. I just felt like shouting ‘fuck you’ on their faces but I resisted.
“Seems like someone had a nice time last night,” said Anushka as she tried to study me from head to toe.
“Yeah! Indeed, slept with a hot guy I met at the pub,” I shot back.
Before I got some other comment, I started combing my hair.
“Stop fooling around, you look so drained out. Why did you drink again?” Shubham called out from the back seat.
I ignored his comment and went on with lining my eyes with kohl. He noticed it but didn’t question anything. I hurriedly applied lip gloss and sprayed some deo. Nobody could guess I hadn’t taken a bath and had just had a rash night but then I didn’t much of remember anything.
We reached office and everyone started off with their work after exchanging of pleasantries. Rohit and Ila asked if I wanted to join them for breakfast. I declined and preferred to stay back with the small cabin my office had provided me with. I called up our cafeteria guy to prepare some strong coffee for me, it was going to my only saving grace today.
I looked at the schedule, a few candidates were expected to arrive today for an interview. For the first time in my I regretted about the fact that I was an HR. Uptil now, I found it the best option as a girl. By the time it was 11 am, I was informed that the first candidate had arrived. As I prepared myself for this Ashish Gupta, I heard a knock at the door.
“Hi Ashish, please have a seat.”
“Hello Ma’am,” he replied and I kicked off with my first question.
After the session was done and he was about to depart, he turned around and asked, “May I ask you something.”
“Do you really don’t remember me or is it because you are right now at work so do not wish to greet me in a personal way?”
“Uhh!! Have we met before? I’m sorry but I don’t seem to recognize you,” I replied with a questioning expression.
“We met at the pub last night, you had asked me for a lift back home. Probably, you were a little too high, it’s totally understandable that you don’t remember me.”
And suddenly a blurred picture came in my mind.
“Oh! Was it you? The yellow jacket guy?” I asked.
“Yes, it was me. Anyway, nice meeting you. Have a nice day.” he replied and shut the door.
After consultation with the manager of the IT department, the company selected Ashish Gupta, the yellow jacket guy. Thirty days later, I found him at the office gates and it almost became a routine to smile back at him everytime we saw each other. We’d mostly bump into each other during smoking breaks as Samar being a common friend took us along together. But then, it was just the regular pleasantries we shared and nothing else.
One day, after we were done with the birthday celebrations of Samar at the cafeteria Ashish barged into my cabin without even a knock. He found me teary eyed, somehow that day I was missing Shwetank too much. He left without a word but soon enough, I received a message from him.
I really thought it was a little weird kind of a message but replied.
My phone beeped.
Felt like asking you out 🙂
I was feeling down so this was much needed and replied instantly.
All I wished for was company tonight.
Nowhere special, just a walk at CP
Just the perfect place to be, I thought.
Okay! I’ll be there at Rajiv Chowk metro by 8 pm
The day went smoothly and I left in the first trip of the cab itself without waiting for Shubham or Anushka. I reached home, took a shower and dressed up. Since I was down, I didn’t work out much on my looks and clothes, I wore just what my eyes caught sight of. I have always been punctual so by the time it was 8 pm, I was already standing at the metro station. I was just about to give him a call when I saw my screen flashing his message asking me to wait for him at CCD. How bad, now a girl will have to wait for a guy. Anyway, I reached the cafe only to find it jam packed. I was just wondering about the next thing to do when someone pat my back. I turned around to see that it was him.
“Hey!” I greeted.
“Hi! I am sorry for being late.”
“It’s alright,” I replied with a smile.
“Let’s get out of here,” he said and I followed him.
Somehow, we fell short of words after the few run off the mill conversations dealing with office and Samar, our mutual friend. We walked in silence for a long long time, had ice cream in silence followed by a coffee in silence. Even though we walked in silence, there was some connection between us I was loving. I just didn’t have to speak up for the sake of talking. He stayed with me even when we didn’t talk much.
“You loved him a lot, didn’t you?” he asked all of a sudden.
“Yeah,” I replied.
“He didn’t meet you the day after you were drunk?” he asked with a question in his eyes.
“No, why would he?”
“You were drunk that night and had called him up infront of me and asked him to meet you the next day. In fact he had promised you he’d come.”
“Oh! Is it? Anyway, how does it even matter? He doesn’t want me and promises don’t mean a thing to him.”
I refused saying I was full.
As I got ready to board the metro to home, he called out my name softly.
“Apurva, let me escort you back home.”
“You don’t have to take the pains, I’ll manage.” I replied.
“No, I will come.”
I didn’t say anything because I knew it wouldn’t make him change his mind. In 20 minutes, we were at my station. We walked down stairs together.
“I can go now, you should be heading back home too. It’s already late,” I replied.
“Yeah! I had a nice time with you. Good night and take care.”
“Same here Ashish,” I said and moved towards the exit.
“Apurva,” he called out.
I turned around with a blank expression on my face.
“Would you mind if I accompany you to such silent walks all my life?” he asked.
“Life is a big word Ashish, I can’t give you that liberty but yes, I wouldn’t mind some more silent walks so as to ascertain if I’ll be able to walk with you throughout my life.”
We smiled at each other as I closed a chapter of my life just to begin an altogether new book.