2:15 P.M.

by Allwin Bright

This weekend had been a lot of fun – movies, books, endless cups of tea, spending some quality time with family and the joy of being at home.  But now I was feeling completely exhausted after traveling. I kicked my shoes away, jumped to the bed and drifted off to a nap.

I woke up confused, grumpy and exhausted. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I reluctantly turned back to look at the wall clock. It showed 2:15 p.m. I was running late.  I hurried up.

As I walked downstairs I heard a distinctive voice. It sounded familiar. I came closer and discovered that it was hers. She had one of the sweetest voices. I was sure that this was her. May be I was hallucinating. HELL, NO! I was not. This was really her. I saw her come out of the house.

The voice inside me told me to get talking with her. However a sensible part of me thought this was not her? Why would she come to Coimbatore? It really didn’t make any sense at all. I should just get this thing out of my mind and better get going – I thought. If only I could.

While I stood there confused she happened to cast a glance upon me. She started thinking. I could quite make out that she was trying to recall a familiar face.

When she recalled she asked, excitedly ‘Hey Praveen! You remember me? We worked together in Pune.’

How could I ever forget her? 

“Yes, I do. I very much remember you. Puja right?.” I said beaming with a smile.

“I never thought that I’d find you here.” She said

“Neither did I” I replied.

“Come on in. I’ll prepare you a cup of coffee”

“No, actually I… I… I am leaving to office right now.” I stuttered.

“Okay, we’ll catch up later sometime.”

There was this voice again – What the hell? Why did you do this Praveen? There have been days where you’ve waited at bus stops, at temples, at the street where she lived for hours together just to catch a glimpse of her. SHE happens to be neighbor by sheer luck and coincidence. SHE invites you in for a cup of coffee. You decline her coffee invite saying that you are leaving to office.  What an idiot you are? No wonder you are single. And you’ll remain single forever.

“Wwaait…. I think I can have a cup of coffee. I didn’t realize that I was leaving to office a little early today. My office is from 4:00 p.m. to 1:oo a.m.” I know. I know. It was a huge lie. But how else do you expect me to redeem myself after having messed it up so badly.

‘Okay then. Come on in.’ She invited me in.

‘How come you are here in Coimbatore?’ I asked

‘That’s a long story. For now I can just tell you that I’ve moved into this house with my family.’ She replied from the Kitchen.

‘Wait a sec… You should meet Kadhir. He’d love to have your company.’

‘Kadhir…’ She went inside and called out.

Kadhir? I wondered.

I prayed desperately. God… please… please… please…. please…. Let him not be her husband. Let him be her brother. Okay. Okay. He can’t be her brother. Kadhir definitely was a Tamil name. And she was a North Indian. Please God… Let him be anybody but not her boyfriend, husband or fiance.

‘Kadhir….’ She called out again.

All of sudden a land-line phone ringing. There was nobody to pick it up. It was ringing… ringing… ringing… and still ringing.

It wouldn’t stop ringing until I picked it up. That was when I realized that you had wake up from your nap to pick up the phone. I woke up from my dream.

I woke up confused, grumpy and still exhausted

‘Hello, is this LIC office?’ The caller asked.

Damn! How on earth did the caller manage to pick an awfully wrong number and the wrong time to call in? I wanted to give the caller a piece of my mind. But, I didn’t.

‘Sorry, wrong number.’ I said politely and disconnected the call.

I looked at the wall clock. It showed 2:15 p.m.

I was really getting late this time. I didn’t care. I went back to sleep.  I wanted to know – Who was this ‘Kadhir‘? I wanted the dream to continue. But, it didn’t. 😦